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Family Silphidae - Carrion Beetles

Unknown Nicrophorus sp.2 - Nicrophorus hybridus American Carrion Beetle - Necrophila americana Nicrophorus  spp.? - Nicrophorus American Carrion Beetle - Necrophila americana Nicrophorus_obscurus_ZE.13327_dorsal - Nicrophorus obscurus Nicrophorus pustulatus? - Nicrophorus pustulatus Nicrophorus tomentosus Necrophila americana(?)
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
No Taxon (Series Staphyliniformia)
Superfamily Staphylinoidea
Family Silphidae (Carrion Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
now treated as subfamily Silphinæ of Staphylinidae(1)
Explanation of Names
Silphidae Latreille 1806
Numbers
32 spp. in 9 genera in our area (all represented in the guide) • >200 spp. in 20 genera total(2)
Family SILPHIDAE
Aclypea bituberosa, A. opaca
Heterosilpha aenescens, H. ramosa
Necrodes surinamensis
Necrophila americana
Nicrophorus americanus, N. carolinus, N. defodiens, N. guttula, N. hebes, 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
Phosphuga atrata
Thanatophilus coloradensis, T. lapponicus, T. sagax, T. trituberculatus, T. truncatus
Silpha tristis
Identification
keys in (3)(4)(5)(6)
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 (e.g. the adventive Phosphuga atrata) who eat caterpillars & snails(7)
Remarks
Nicrophorus are among the very few beetles that exhibit parental care
See Also
Cychrini have somewhat similar larvae
Works Cited
1.Integrated phylogenomics and fossil data illuminate the evolution of beetles
Cai C et al. 2022. R. Soc. Open Sci. 9: 211771.
2.Catalogue of Life
3.The carrion beetles of Canada and Alaska (Coleoptera: Silphidae and Agyrtidae)
Anderson, R.S. and S.B. Peck. 1985. Agriculture Canada.
4.The Silphidae (Coleoptera) of the Maritime Provinces of Canada
C.G. Majka. 2011. Journal of the Acadian Entomological Society 7: 83-101.
5.The Carrion Beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) of Nebraska
Brett Ratcliffe. 1996. University of Nebraska State Museum.
6.The Carrion Beetles of North Dakota
Guy A. Hanley and David L Cuthrell. 2008. Minot State University.
7.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.