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Photo#96235
Beetle ? - Nicrophorus tomentosus

Beetle ? - Nicrophorus tomentosus
Asheville, North Carolina, USA
January 8, 2005
Found this my first 5 minutes in Ashville NC. It has larvae moving around on it. Is it it's young or a parasite ?

Silphidae
Carrion or Sexton Beetle... Nicrophorus... possibly N. tomentosus... I don't know the species well enough to be certain... though the thorax most certainly is 'tomentose'

 
Banded Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus investigator)
Ty very Much I just found it and what was living on it.
These beetles are frequently infested by tiny reddish-brown gamasid mites (Gamasus species),
http://www.kendall-bioresearch.co.uk/silphid.htm

 
No, this is N. tomentosus as Joe suggests.
The golden fur on the pronotum is diagnostic for this species as recognized in its species name. Compare.

As for the mites, Gamasida is an outmoded classification, the mites are large, not tiny (by mite standards at least), and I have never read elsewhere in any authoritative source that they are in any respect ectoparasitic on the beetles. Rather, they are described as mutual benefactors, not an infestation.

Mites
Those probably aren't larvae, but mites. While some mites are parasites, more often than not they're just hitch-hikers, even benefiting the beetle by eating potential parasites.

 
Mesotigmatid mites
Their position atop the beetle's wingcovers (elytra) signifies that this beetle has just flown and/or is about to fly. Normally, unless the beetle is super-loaded with mites, they cling to the beetle's underside. However, when the beetle is about to fly, the mites climb up on top, all facing forward. They are protected in this position because the beetle rotates its elytra up and toward the center, forming a tent-like enclosure with the mites inside:


As Chuck points out, the mites benefit the beetle. They eat the eggs and freshly-hatched maggots of carrion flies that would both compete for food and poison the food with their high-amonia waste products. The mites help the beetle's larvae to survive, giving their own young a new generation of beetles to ride to the next carcass. It's a beautiful relationship that stinks to high heaven :-)

 
mite be
Ty for the response.

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