Heterospila ramosa

Garden Carrion Beetle
Heterosilpha ramosa

 

Identification:

Garden Carrion Beetle Heterosilpha ramosa on fresh-cut tree stump. Celista, B.C. June 30, 2010.
Garden Carrion Beetle Heterosilpha ramosa on fresh-cut tree stump. Celista, B.C. June 30, 2010.

Head: Black.
Antenna: Black, clubbed.
Thorax (Pronotum): Black, smooth, without ridges or marks of any kind. Narrow at base. Borders wide, slightly up-turned on side edges. Lower margin uneven and as wide as wings.
Wings (Elytra): Black with 3 slightly raised branched lines, outside one much shorter than others. Series of ‘branches’ extend from each line, giving a net-like or reticulated look to wings. Female wings cover abdomen; male wings shorter.  Large V-shape (scutellum) at center of wing bases.

Garden Carrion Beetle Heterosilpha ramosa on fresh-cut tree stump. Celista, B.C. June 30, 2010.
Garden Carrion Beetle Heterosilpha ramosa on fresh-cut tree stump. Celista, B.C. June 30, 2010.

Legs: Black. Males have wider feet with dense hair on underside.
Abdomen: Black.

Similar Species: Ridged Carrion Beetle Oiceoptoma inaequale has ridges on thorax (pronotum).

Size: 12 to 18 mm

Habitat: Forest edges with open spaces, prairies with tall grasses.

Food: Rotting vegetation and carrion.

Flight Time: Mid-April to October.

Life Cycle: Eggs laid in soil next to carcass. Life cycle takes about a month. Two generations per year in western part of Canada. Second generation over-winters as adults. Possibly only one generation in Ontario.

Comments: South-west border with Manitoba along Lake Superior. Rare in Ontario. Common out west.

Synonyms: Say 1823
Silpha ramosa, Silpha cervaria

References:
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1823-24, Vol. 3 by Say, pg. 193.
Entomological News, 1919, Vol. 30: Life History and Habits of Silpha inaequalis [misident.] by Goe, pp. 253 to 255,
Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 1927, Vol. 35: Studies on the Silphinae by Hatch, pg. 347.
Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 1975, Vol. 68 #5: Biology of Carrion Beetle Silpha ramosa by Brewer & Bacon, pp. 786 to 790.
Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, 1985: The Insects and Arachnids of Canada, Part 13 – Carrion Beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae & Agyrtidae) by Anderson & Peck, pp. 29 to 30.
Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario, 1987, Vol. 118: A synopsis of the distribution and bionomics of the carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) of the Conterminous United States by Peck and Kaulbars, pg. 49.

Types: Unknown