necrophila americana cleaning up a mouse

Gigas

Arachnoprince
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Apr 6, 2006
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1,977
Its a beetle ;)

I count 4 beetles? I thought only pairs of beetles would lay eggs in corpse?
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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Aug 16, 2002
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Its a beetle ;)

I count 4 beetles? I thought only pairs of beetles would lay eggs in corpse?
You're thinking of the related burying beetles (Nicrophorus) where a pair work together to bury a carcass and then care for the larvae. They seek out carcasses of a particular size, ad are quite selective about where they lay eggs, although they may feed on other carrion.

Necrophila (formerlly Silpha) lay eggs in the soil under a carcass. There's no teamwork, however, so it's pretty much a free-for-all. The eggs hatch very quickliy (like in two days) so it's not unusul to find adults and larvae feeding at the same time.

Wade
 

Gigas

Arachnoprince
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Ah, thank you Wade :)
But on a carcass as small as this would the young be able to grow enough to turm to imago?
 

Spiderface

Arachnoknight
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Feb 27, 2006
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195
Its a beetle ;)

I count 4 beetles? I thought only pairs of beetles would lay eggs in corpse?
there were loads of these beetles there but I didn't take any shots of them from a distance to get the others in frame.
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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They can probably raise some, but not that many idividuals. Likely, the first larvae to emerge (eggs are laid singly) would be the ones to actually make it to adulthood, food would run out before the later ones were able to mature. It's also possible the adults stop laying eggs when the food is strating to run out, not sure on that!

Necrophila are also very fond of fly maggots, so that likely supplements the diet!

On carcass size, the lack of just the right size carcasses are what has caused the decline of the very rare and critically endangered American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus. Or at least it's the best theory. These beetles need carrion of about the size of a pigeon, a lack of larger predators (thanks to humans) has led to an increse in the number of scavangers like racoons that live well in the shadow of humans. Unfortunately, they also consume most of the carcases the beetles would otherwise use.

Wade
 

Distasty

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
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11
Aw man!
I caught a bunch of these once and had no idea what they were. It's great to know what they are XD
 
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