Carrion location efficiency in burying beetles, <i>Nicrophorus carolinus</i> (L.) (Silphidae)

TitleCarrion location efficiency in burying beetles, Nicrophorus carolinus (L.) (Silphidae)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsConley MReeves
JournalSouthwest National
Volume27
Pagination11-15
Date Published1982
Call Number00599
Keywordsarticle, articles, food habits, burying beetle, insect, burying beetle, insect, Nicrophorus,food habits, journal, journals, Nicrophorus,food habits
AbstractEfficiency of burying beetles in locating carrion was observed at 102 rat carcasses during June-July, 1980, at two study areas in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. Location time varied from 24 to 100 h, except where putrifying carrion already was present or had been removed recently from the site. In these situations, location time was reduced to less than or equal to 6 h, supporting an hypothesis for priming effects upon location efficiency. Location efficiency ranged from 10 to 80% of available carcasses. Of 37 carcasses colonized, 38% were occupied by single beetles and 27% were occupied by two beetles. The largest assemblage observed at a single carcass was 14 beetles. Sex identification was obtained for 32 beetles collected from 11 carcasses during the final observation period. All single individuals collected were females and all pairs of beetles included at least one female. Larger assemblages were composed of both males and females.