Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Necrophila americana - American Carrion Beetle

American Carrion Beetle - Necrophila americana A Burying Beetle Garden Party - Necrophila americana American Carrion Beetle (Necrophila americana) - Necrophila americana - male - female American Carrion Beetle - Necrophila americana american carrion beetle larva - Necrophila americana american carrion beetle - Necrophila americana American Carrion Beetle  - Necrophila americana Necrophila americana (Linnaeus) - Necrophila americana
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 Necrophila
Species americana (American Carrion Beetle)
Other Common Names
Crusader Carrion Beetle (Jaeger 1859(1))
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Necrophila americana (Linnaeus)
Orig. Comb: Silpha americana Linnaeus 1758
13-20 mm(2)
Distinctive: large, with mostly yellow pronotum. Oiceoptoma noveboracense is smaller (14 mm) and has a cross-shaped dark pronotal spot that reaches base(3)
In flight, resembles a bumblebee (Bombus) or Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa). (P. Coin, personal observation)
e. NA (NS-FL to MB-e.TX)
in moist woods on carrion, fungus, sapping tree wounds(2); prefer larger carrion, "rat-sized or larger"(4)
Adults consume fly larvae (maggots) at carrion, as well as some carrion; larvae eat carrion, maggots, and beetle larvae, may prefer dried skin, bits of flesh after maggots have departed(4)(5)
Life Cycle
Eggs laid singly on/near carrion. Larvae hatch in a few days, feed in or under carcass, and pupate in a nearby soil cell. Adults overwinter.(4)(5)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Life of North American Insects
Benedict Jaeger. 1859. Harper.
2.Beetles of Eastern North America
Arthur V. Evans. 2014. Princeton University Press.
3.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
4.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
5.The Carrion Beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) of Nebraska
Brett Ratcliffe. 1996. University of Nebraska State Museum.