Silphidae

Common name:

Sexton beetles, burying beetles, carrion beetles

Number of species:

21

Size Range:

9-30mm

Tarsi:

5-5-5. Lobed or not.

Images:

  • Nicrophorus investigator
  • Oiceoptoma thoracicum
  • Silpha atrata
  • Aclypea opaca
  • Thanatophilus rugosus
  • Silpha tristis

Description: 

A distinctive family of 21 large (9-30mm) distinctive species which are largely associated with carrion, although some (e.g. Silpha atrata L.) are predatory on snails, the two species of Aclypea are herbivorous and Dendroxena quadrimaculata (Scopoli) is an arboreal predator of caterpillars.  Perhaps the most commonly-encountered group are those of genus Nicrophorus, the archetypal burying beetles – large black and orange beetles which are strong fliers and frequently come to light.  The all-black (including the antennae) species Nicrophorus germanicus (L.) is presumed extinct in Britain.