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.

Garden Carrion Beetle Heterosilpha ramosa on prairie grasses. Celista, B.C. July 01, 2010.
Garden Carrion Beetle Heterosilpha ramosa on prairie grasses. Celista, B.C. July 01, 2010.

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

 

 

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