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Photo#223202
Carrion beetle on dead shrew - Nicrophorus tomentosus

Carrion beetle on dead shrew - Nicrophorus tomentosus
Germantown, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
September 7, 2008
There were very small mites(?) crawling on the beetle and also on the fur of the shrew.

Moved from ID Request to Guid
Moved from ID Request to Guide at species level.

Carrion beetle
Did you watch the beetle to see if it buried the dead shrew? These beetles will chew off the fur of the small mammals. When the animal turns to "mush" the mother lays her eggs in it. The beetle larvae eat the dead animal. The parents live long enough to take care of their larvae and can actually "communicate" with them through clicking sounds. I think that is amazing!

 
The beetle crawled under
The beetle kept crawling under the shrew, while I kept turning the shrew to get a better view of the beetle. I guess that was too much disturbance to deal with, for the beetle eventually sneaked away thru the grass. I searched for it, but couldn't find it. I went back to the same spot today ~24 h later, but the shrew was gone too & it didn't look like anything was buried at the spot.

Nicrophorus tomentosus
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