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Sexton Beetle
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Sexton Beetle

I think this is called a Sexton or Burying Beetle. Maybe someone will tell me different. It was found (dead) on 8th September in the Plant Room area of the Stromness Swimming Pool. Although it looks as if it's about a foot long, it's really only about an inch. Quite a bonnie peedie thing really in a strange kinda way!
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Picture added on 09 September 2008
A sexton beetle it is! Sexton beetles are found on carrion and often bury small dead animals (rodents, birds, etc.) as a food store for themselves and their offspring. The beetles can fly long distances to locate carrion, presumably attracted by smell. When the beetles find a small carcass, they creep underneath and excavate the soil below, pushing it to the sides and using their jaws to cut away obstacles, such as grass roots. In this way the dead mouse or bird slowly sinks into the earth until it is completely buried. The female beetle lays her eggs in the soil, close to the buried carcass, and remains there until the eggs hatch. There appears to be some degree of parental care, in that the female beetle regurgitates a brown liquid of partly digested food for the young larvae, until they are large enough to eat the carrion on their own. The fully grown larvae burrow into the soil to pupate, away from the remains of the carcass (if any), and eventually emerge as new adult beetles to start the cycle over again. Thus, sexton beetles are beneficial as scavengers by helping to clear away the corpses of dead animals.

Added by Ian Christie on 10 September 2008
Yuk! I feel nauseous!
Added by Alison Ritchie on 10 September 2008
I had one in the house about a week ago, they are covered with hundreds of reddish brown mites and when they die these mites pile out of the corpse, its like something out of alien.
Added by Keith Dempsey on 11 September 2008
Are you sure it's no one o' Kenny's fishing flies? Have one of these in a display cabinet at work Viv. You are correct in your identification.
Added by Dennis Campbell on 13 September 2008
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