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Family Silphidae - Carrion Beetles

Nicrophorus orbicollis Carrion Beetle ? - Nicrophorus pustulatus Silphidae: Nicrophorus pustulatus? - Nicrophorus pustulatus Nicrophorus - Nicrophorus guttula Carolinus ? - Nicrophorus carolinus We're thinking Heterosilpha? - Heterosilpha ramosa Beetle - Necrophila americana Burying Beetle - Nicrophorus carolinus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
Superfamily Staphylinoidea (Rove, Carrion and Fungus Beetles)
Family Silphidae (Carrion Beetles)
Numbers
~30 spp. in 8 genera in our area (all represented in the guide); ca. 175 spp. in 15 genera worldwide(1)(2)(3)
Family SILPHIDAE
Aclypea bituberosa, A. opaca
Heterosilpha aenescens, H. ramosa
Necrodes surinamensis
Necrophila americana
Nicrophorus americanus, N. carolinus, N. defodiens, N. guttula, N. hybridus, N. investigator, N. marginatus, N. mexicanus, N. nigrita, N. obscurus, N. orbicollis, N. pustulatus, N. sayi, N. tomentosus, N. vespilloides
Oiceoptoma inaequale, O. noveboracense, O. rugulosum
Thanatophilus coloradensis, T. lapponicus, T. sagax, T. trituberculatus, T. truncatus
Silpha tristis
Identification
Antennae are distinctive:

For further identification see(4)(5)(6)(7)
Habitat
wide variety of habitats, usually associated with carrion (also found on decomposing mushrooms and fruit); some come to lights
Food
scavengers and carrion feeders; Aclypea are herbivores and can damage garden plants; there are predatory silphids (not in our area) who eat caterpillars & snails(1)
Remarks
Nicrophorus are among the very few beetles that exhibit parental care
See Also
Cychrini have somewhat similar larvae
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume I: Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia
Arnett, R.H., Jr., and M. C. Thomas. (eds.). 2000. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.A catalog of Coleoptera of America north of Mexico. Family: Silphidae
Peck S.B., Miller S.E. 1993. USDA Agriculture handbook no. 529-28. x + 24 pp.
3.Newton A.F., Thayer M.K. Catalog of higher taxa of Staphyliniformia and genera and subgenera of Staphylinoidea [online]
4.The Carrion Beetles of North Dakota
Guy A. Hanley and David L Cuthrell. 2008. Minot State University.
5.Nebraska Carrion Beetles
6.The carrion beetles of Canada and Alaska (Coleoptera: Silphidae and Agyrtidae)
Anderson, R.S. and S.B. Peck. 1985. Agriculture Canada.
7.The Silphidae (Coleoptera) of the Maritime Provinces of Canada
C.G. Majka. 2011. Journal of the Acadian Entomological Society 7: 83-101.