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American Carrion Beetle (Necrophila Americana)

American carrion beetle of the carrion beetle family inhabits different parts of North America, having a wide range there right from the Rocky Mountains to Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and Canada’s southeastern belt. Like other members of their family, the larvae and adult American carrion beetle mostly feed on carrion, fungus, and larva of flies, which has earned them their name.

American Carrion Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Silphidae
  • Genus: Necrophila
  • Scientific name: Necrophila Americana

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 12 – 22 mm (0.47 – 0.86 inches)

Color: It has a black body with a pale yellow pronotum, marked with a big, black spot in the middle resembling a shield or badge.

Other Characteristic Features: The elytra or wing covers have a bumpy texture and appears shorter than the body, exposing the tail end to a certain extent.

Necrophila Americana

 Larva

The larva is black, with an armored body fanning out from each segment’s undersides.

American Carrion Beetle Larvae

Pupa

Though not much detail is available about the pupa, the pupal phase mostly occurs in the soil. 

Egg

The females mostly lay eggs close to the carcasses to make food sources available to the larva as soon as it hatches.

Quick Facts

Other namesCrusader Carrion Beetle
Adult lifespanApproximately 6 months
Duration of larval stage3 months
DistributionParts of North America in the states of Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Florida, Texas
HabitatMostly under rocks, leaf litter, moist wood, or all those places where animal carcasses can be found
Common PredatorsNot recorded
Seasons active fromMarch – September
Diet  of larvae and adultsLarvae: Raw flesh mostly of dead animals and fungi Adults: Larvae of fly and other carrion beetle species, as well as carrion
Crusader Carrion Beetle

Did You Know

  • The larvae are fast-movers but may abruptly pause or curl themselves as a defense mechanism to any impending danger they sense.
  • They engage in mutualistic phoresis with the mites. The latter would climb on to the adult beetle’s body to reach the carcass. 
American Carrion Beetle Picture

Image Source: americaninsects.net, bugguide.net, i.pinimg.com, objects.liquidweb.services, i1.wp.com

American carrion beetle of the carrion beetle family inhabits different parts of North America, having a wide range there right from the Rocky Mountains to Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and Canada’s southeastern belt. Like other members of their family, the larvae and adult American carrion beetle mostly feed on carrion, fungus, and larva of flies, which has earned them their name.

American Carrion Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 12 – 22 mm (0.47 – 0.86 inches)

Color: It has a black body with a pale yellow pronotum, marked with a big, black spot in the middle resembling a shield or badge.

Other Characteristic Features: The elytra or wing covers have a bumpy texture and appears shorter than the body, exposing the tail end to a certain extent.

Necrophila Americana

 Larva

The larva is black, with an armored body fanning out from each segment’s undersides.

American Carrion Beetle Larvae

Pupa

Though not much detail is available about the pupa, the pupal phase mostly occurs in the soil. 

Egg

The females mostly lay eggs close to the carcasses to make food sources available to the larva as soon as it hatches.

Quick Facts

Other namesCrusader Carrion Beetle
Adult lifespanApproximately 6 months
Duration of larval stage3 months
DistributionParts of North America in the states of Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Florida, Texas
HabitatMostly under rocks, leaf litter, moist wood, or all those places where animal carcasses can be found
Common PredatorsNot recorded
Seasons active fromMarch – September
Diet  of larvae and adultsLarvae: Raw flesh mostly of dead animals and fungi Adults: Larvae of fly and other carrion beetle species, as well as carrion
Crusader Carrion Beetle

Did You Know

  • The larvae are fast-movers but may abruptly pause or curl themselves as a defense mechanism to any impending danger they sense.
  • They engage in mutualistic phoresis with the mites. The latter would climb on to the adult beetle’s body to reach the carcass. 
American Carrion Beetle Picture

Image Source: americaninsects.net, bugguide.net, i.pinimg.com, objects.liquidweb.services, i1.wp.com

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