|Steel engraving from Brehms Tierleben 1893|
|Nicrophorus nigrita (from CA) and N. marginatus (AZ, Pima Co.)|
Other beetles come to bigger dead bodies in different stages of decay. Forensic Entomologists use the strict sequence of species arrival as evidence for the timeline of a killing.
One of the workshops at our last SASI meeting studied for several days insects at the corpse of a dead pig that was (astonishingly) placed right outside the conference hotel.
|Eric Eaton collecting beetles from a cow carcass in Madera Canyon|
The larvae of Dermestes marmoratus form at times a dense layer covering most of the carcass. Forensic labs make use of their voracious appetite to quickly and thoroughly clean bones.
|Tanatopilus truncatus and Dermestes caninus|
|Dermestes caninus and Green Bottle Fly on a dead snake|
I hope this detailed description of beetles on carrion did not gross you out too much. These beetles play a very important role in the ecological system, and the existence of at least one species is threatened in the US . It's endangered status inspired this imaginative campaign: