Some entomological detective work

I got an email from Leon (a director at the camp where I worked for over five summers) with the following photo attached:

Necrodes surinamensis

Make sure to look at the full sized photo. It’s a neat beetle. Seems as they have an infestation of the things. I wasn’t sure what it was, so I posted the photo to BugGuide, a neat website that I discovered today. Turns out that this beetle is a member of the Silphid family, known by the more colourful name, the Carrion Beetles.

As Eric Eaton suggests at BugGuide, it is a male Necrodes surinamensis otherwise known as a Red-lined Carrion Beetle, so-called because of that red (though I would have called it orange) line along the back of it’s elytra (back “wings”).

Seems as though there are dead things at camp!