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Species Necrodes surinamensis - Red-lined Carrion Beetle

Nervous Fella - Necrodes surinamensis Necrodes surinamensis Beetle - Necrodes surinamensis Beetle - Necrodes surinamensis Necrodes surinamensis Necrodes surinamensis Night Terror - Necrodes surinamensis Necrodes surinamensis
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 Staphyliniformia)
Superfamily Staphylinoidea (Rove, Carrion and Fungus Beetles)
Family Silphidae (Carrion Beetles)
Genus Necrodes
Species surinamensis (Red-lined Carrion Beetle)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Necrodes surinamensis (Fabricius)
Orig. Comb: Silpha surinamensis Fabricius, 1775
1 sp. n. of Mex. (5 spp. total) (1)
12-25 mm
Distinctive, large eyes, dark body with prominent raised elytral ridges, variable red-orange, sometimes yellow, markings on elytra, though these sometimes absent. Sometimes has red tinge to body. Males have distinctive leg morphology: expanded hind femora with a large tooth on each, and expanded foretarsi. (1) Also, abdomen of male appears to jut out from under abdomen much more than female, at least based on this individual:

The black body with orange markings resembles the pattern of the related Sexton Beetles, Nicrophorus. Perhaps this is a mimicry complex.
East of Rocky Mtns. Also populations in Pacific Northwest, Montana, Utah. (1)
General, but may prefer deciduous forests
All year, but most common in temperate areas April-November. May-July, September (North Carolina).
Adults consume fly larvae (maggots), and perhaps some carrion.
Life Cycle
Rather nocturnal and is found at lights, unlike related genera. Adults locate carrion and mate on or near carcass. They feed on fly larvae there. Eggs are laid on soil near carcass. Larvae feed on fly larvae and carrion, pupate in soil. Adults overwinter in under litter(?) or in other protected areas. See Ratcliffe (1) for details. This species is supposed to be attracted especially, to dead birds. (Insects of Northeastern Iowa)
Has chemical defenses, and smells foul, like all carrion beetles and their larvae.
Print References
Ratcliffe, pp. 26-30, fig. 49 (1)
Dillon, p. 176, plate XIX (2)
Papp, p. 72, fig. 225 (3)
White, p. 121, fig. 44 (4)
Arnett, pp. 129-130, fig. 321 (5)
Salsbury, p. 173--photo (6)
Marshall, photo 302.8 (7)
Brimley p. 135--Silpha surinamensis. (8)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.The Carrion Beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) of Nebraska
Brett Ratcliffe. 1996. University of Nebraska State Museum.
2.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
3.Introduction to North American Beetles
Charles S. Papp. 1984. Entomography Pubns.
4.Peterson Field Guides: Beetles
Richard E. White. 1983. Houghton Mifflin Company.
5.How to Know the Beetles
Ross H. Arnett, N. M. Downie, H. E. Jaques. 1980. Wm. C. Brown Publishers.
6.Insects in Kansas
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.
7.Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
Stephen A. Marshall. 2006. Firefly Books Ltd.
8.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.