|Nicrophorus orbicollis, Wrentham, Sept 2011|
|N. americanus larva, July 2011, Nantucket|
|N. orbicollis, notice the black pronotum (section behind the head) and the small amount of orange on the elytra (wing covers) - this is probably the most common species encountered in the northeast.|
|N. marginatus, notice the orange on the elytra is extensive and connects the two crosslines (maculations) on the side. A common and sometimes quite large species.|
|N. sayi, a fall-flying species that has the front maculation (remember that vocab) extending forwards with an orange stripe on the side. Uncommon. Wrentham, Sept. 2011|
|N. tomentosus, a common, day-flying, small species that is easily distinguished by the yellow hairs on its pronotum.|
|Not a great picture, but it looks rather bumblebee-like, doesn't it?|
The next beetle I have never encountered, but trapping in New Hampshire, my good friend and fellow bug nut (direct to him all mite questions), Will Cioffi caught this species, N. defodiens.
|Notice the all black antennae on. It is a northern species, I don't know whether it reaches MA. Photo thanks to Will Cioffi.|
|N. americanus, notice the orange pronotum. This is a male, indicated by the orange square above the mandibles.|
Was it widespread pesticides? The loss of the Passenger Pigeon and Heath Hen as suitable food? Can they not deal with development? Interestingly, a new paper shows that Opossums eat these guys preferentially over carrion and they are a species that has exploded and massively expanded their range in the past 100 years - and there are no opposums on Block Island and coyotes keep them in check out west. Unfortunately, all of these post-hoc hypotheses are just that, and we will never know for sure the reason for the decline.
|#40 blue, a female (orange triangle above the mandibles), part of the reintroduced Nantucket population.|