Spooky Story

After reading about the nutrition and reproduction of  Nicrophorus americanus, you may have already guessed why this organism fits into the “spooky organisms ” category.  I mean, as a shiny black beetle with bright orange markings, Nicrophorus americanus fits the color theme of Halloween perfectly!  But probably the most creepy aspect about this beetle is that it literally buries the dead bodies of animals! Nicrophorus americanus spends nearly an entire lifetime around dead carcasses, and from birth to adulthood it spends a lot of time living up to the name “burying beetle.”

Image courtesy of Wayne National Forest

First, Nicrophorus americanus searches for a dead animal such as a large bird, rat, racoon, skunk, or other vertebrates. The size may vary depending on the size of the beetle. After a carcass has been found, Nicrophorus americanus will dig up the soil around it to create an underground grave for the dead mammal. The male and female Nicrophorus americanus will then proceed to form a ball of flesh and fur removed from the carcass, and mate on top of the remaining parts of the carcass. From there, the female lays her eggs under the carcass so that when they hatch the larvae can feed on the furry ball of flesh!

Meet the creator of this website


Back to HOME