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Photo#115787
scavenger - Heterosilpha ramosa

scavenger - Heterosilpha ramosa
Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California, USA
June 4, 2007
Size: 1.5 cm
Two of these appeared to be eating a dead insect. They were on a sandy path leading to a beach.

Moved
Moved from Beetles.

The top surface of the thorax
The top surface of the thorax is very smooth on mine and looks bumpy on the photo of Microschatia inaequalis you pointed me to. Do you think that's significant?

 
it is significant!
In fact, yours are carrion beetles, I guess this species:

 
Yes.
You are correct. H. ramosa is the common carrion beetle on the west coast. The dead beetle might be Timarcha intricata. I know some beetles actively eat other, freshly-dead beetles, probably to acquire defensive chemicals for themselves.

Looks like a darkling beetle
I'm no expert, but check Microschatia inaequalis.

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