American Carrion Beetle, Necrophila americana (Linnaeus) (Silphidae)

American carrion beetle, Necrophila americana (Linnaeus). © 2012, A.V. Evans.

By Lindsey Tarkington

The American Carrion Beetle, Necrophila americana (Linnaeus). The adults are 13-20 mm in length, have crinkled wing covers (elytra), and resemble bumblebees in flight. They are most commonly found on decaying animal or plant matter in the spring and summertime in open woods and meadows.  Females lay their eggs underneath carcasses to ensure that their larvae will have a food source when they hatch. Like the adults, the black larvae eat decaying animal or plant matter, and take about 3 months to reach adulthood; one generation is produced annually. This species is common throughout Virginia and ranges from Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Manitoba and Texas.

References

Evans, A.V., 2007. National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects & Spiders of North America. Sterling Publishing Co., New York, NY.

White, R.E., 1983. Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to the Beetles of North America. Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, NY.

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