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Content tagged with "carrion beetle"

American burying beetle

American Burying Beetle

Nicrophorus americanus
This brightly patterned beetle specializes in cleaning carrion from the landscape, burying dead mice, birds, and other creatures. It is endangered in our nation and in our state, and restoration efforts are under way.

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Image of an American burying beetle

American Burying Beetle

The American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) used to be common but is now a critically endangered species. It only occurs in a few places in the United States. The Saint Louis Zoo, with other conservation institutions including MDC, has a captive breeding program and is working to restore this species to the wild.

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image of American Carrion Beetle

American Carrion Beetle

In flight, the American carrion beetle (Necrophila americana) looks a lot like a bumblebee. Adults eat fly maggots, plus some carrion. The larvae are black, teardrop-shaped grubs that look something like a sowbug. They hatch after the dead animal has dried somewhat and eat on the carrion too, particularly dried skin, then creep away to pupate.

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Image of Tomentose Burying Beetle crawling on the ground

Carrion Beetles (Burying Beetles; Sexton Beetles)

Silphid beetles: Nicrophorus, Necrophila, Necrodes, etc.
The famous entomologist J. Henri Fabre wrote that carrion beetles make “a clearance of death on behalf of life.” When we overcome our revulsion, we, too, can appreciate these interesting little grave diggers.

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Image of Tomentose Burying Beetle crawling on the ground

Tomentose Burying Beetle

The tomentose burying beetle (Nicrophorus tomentosus) looks something like a bumblebee as it flies. The pronotum (the shoulderlike part behind the head) is covered with hairs. They are usually seen only during the summer. This and other Nicrophorus burying beetles show remarkable parental care, protecting and feeding their larvae.

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