Nicrophorus pustulatus

Sexton Beetle

Nicrophorus pustulatus, Carrion Beetle photo from West Virginia

Family: Silphidae

Subfamily: Nicrophorinae

Length: 14-22 mm


In Nicrophorus pustulatus each elytra has an orange spot along the outer margin, somewhat closer to the elytral base than to the apex. Also present are two spots near the base of each elytron.

Among genus Nicrophorus, N. pustulatus has the largest egg clutches, with up to 200 eggs. The species has been noted several times as parasitizing the broods of N. orbicollis, but N. orbicollis has never been observed to parasitize N. pustulatus.

Ratcliff (1996) reports that N. pustulatus "is one of the rarer species of Nicrophorus."

The one pictured here turned up dead in Upshur County. It’s appropriate, perhaps, that our only portrait of a dead insect on this site is of a Carrion Beetle.

Other species in this genus found in West Virginia include Nicrophorus orbicollis and Nicrophorus tomentosus.

Insects of West Virginia