margined carrion beetle

(Oiceoptoma noveboracense)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet listed margined carrion beetle

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked
Occurrence

 

Flight/Season

April to October

Habitat

Deciduous forests.

Size

to ½


Identification

This is a to ½ long carrion beetle found mostly in deciduous forests.

The pronotum is dark brown or black with with orange-red lateral margins. The orange-red area does not extend across the lower margin.

The thick, hardened, shell-like forewings (elytra) are dark brown and have a distinctive tooth on the shoulder. Conspicuous vertical ridges extend from the base over more than half the length of the elytra. The elytra ends are rounded on males, more tapered on females.

The temples behind the eyes bear a row of long, erect, yellow-tinted bristles.

The metatibiae are enlarged on males.

 
Similar
Species

American carrion beetle (Necrophila americana) is larger, ½ to ¾ long. The pronotum has yellow margins and a black mark that does not extend to the lower margin.

Ridged carrion beetle (Oiceoptoma inaequale) has an entirely black pronotum with no colored margins.


Larval Food

Carrion, decaying fungi.

 
Adult Food

Fly larvae on carrion and, rarely, the carrion itself.

 
Life Cycle

Adults overwinter and reproduction takes place in the spring. There is one generation per year.

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7.


Comments

These beetles are used by crime scene investigators to estimate post mortem intervals (PMI).


Taxonomy

Order:

Coleoptera (beetles)

 

Suborder:

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)

 

Infraorder:

Staphyliniformia

 

Superfamily:

Staphylinoidea (rove, carrion and fungus beetles)

 

Family:

Sylphidae (carrion beetles)

 

Subfamily:

Silphinae

 
Synonyms

Silpha noveboracensis

Oiceoptoma noveboracensis

 
Common
Names

margined carrion beetle


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Metatibia

Hind tibia. The hind portion of the fourth segment of an insect leg.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

       

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Female

  margined carrion beetle    
       

 

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  Deer carcass fauna
weirdbuglady
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 14, 2012

My lab mates and I pulled up to a field site, and smelled something funny. Turns out there was a decaying deer carcass in the grass. Being entomologists, we had to get a closer look at the insect life.

I have identified the carrion beetle: Oiceoptoma noveboracense. It is in the family Silphidae, the carrion beetles. I observed it attacking, carrying, and eating one of the maggots.

 
     

 

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