Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Fall Fund Drive

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Genus Necrobia

Red-legged Ham Beetles - Necrobia rufipes Cosmopolitan Blue Bone Beetle - Necrobia violacea Cosmopolitan Blue Bone Beetle? - Necrobia violacea Red-legged Ham Beetle - Necrobia rufipes On late-stage decay deer carcass - Necrobia violacea - male Beetles on carrion - Necrobia violacea - male - female Red-legged Ham Beetle - Necrobia rufipes Beetle - Necrobia rufipes
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)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Cleroidea (Bark-gnawing, Checkered and Soft-winged Flower Beetles)
Family Cleridae (Checkered Beetles)
Subfamily Korynetinae
Genus Necrobia
Other Common Names
Red-legged Ham Beetle, Copra Beetle (N. rufipes); Red-necked Necrobia (N. ruficollis); Blue Corynetes (N. violacea)
Explanation of Names
Necrobia Olivier 1795
Greek 'living on the dead' (refers to the carrion-feeding habits)
Numbers
3 spp. in our area, all cosmopolitan and adventive(1)
Size
3-6 mm
Identification
N. rufipes: head, thorax, elytra shiny metallic bluish-green; underside of abdomen dark blue; legs bright reddish-brown or orange; antennae mainly reddish-brown but with dark brown or black club at tip; sides of thorax and elytra with stiff bristle-like hairs
N. violacea: similar to N. rufipes but appendages dark
N. ruficollis: legs, pronotum, and base of elytra red or reddish-brown; remainder of elytra bluish; head and antennae entirely dark
Larva: body creamy-gray with mottled violet-gray markings on upper surface; head and upper surface of first thoracic segment and last (ninth) abdominal segment with brown hardened plates; 2nd and 3rd thoracic segments also with tiny brownish plates; plate on last abdominal segment with two horn-like protuberances which curve strongly upwards
Range
cosmopolitan [of Palaearctic origin? opinions vary: see(2)(3)]; throughout NA(1)
Habitat
on dried fish, skins and bones of dead animals (incl. museum specimens)(4)(5)
Season
summer in the far north; most of the year in the south; year-round indoors; optimum temperature for development indoors is in the range 30-34°C, and the minimum temperature is 22°C
Food
adults feed on the surface of dried fish, skins and bones of dead animals, and museum specimens
larvae feed on the same materials, plus prey on fly larvae and on Dermestes spp. eggs and larvae
Life Cycle
Eggs are laid on the food material; larvae pass through three or four instars; the last instar spins a cocoon in which pupation occurs; life-cycle takes 6 weeks or longer depending on food type and physical conditions. Under optimum conditions, the rate of population increase is about 25 times per month. The adults fly actively and can thus easily disperse to new sources of food.
Remarks
may damage museum specimens of vertebrate animals and stored dried fish; N. rufipes is a well-known pest of copra and some other stored products in the tropics(4)
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.The checkered beetles (Coleoptera: Cleridae) of the Maritime Provinces of Canada
Christopher G. Majka. 2006. Zootaxa 1385: 31–46.
3.Alien terrestrial arthropods of Europe
Roques A., Kenis M., Lees D., Lopez-Vaamonde C., Rabitsch W., Rasplus J.-Y., Roy D., eds. 2010. BioRisk 4 Special Issue; 2 vols., 1028 pp.
4.Beetles associated with stored products in Canada: An identification guide
Bousquet Y. 1990. Research Branch Agriculture Canada, Publication 1837.
5.A guide to the Cleridae of Atlantic Canada, by Christopher Majka