Monday, May 29, 2006

Northern Carrion Beetle (Silpha lapponica)


This beetle, and two others identical to it, were in the nestbox of the Violet-green Swallows today. I watched them rummaging around in the grass and feathers of the growing nest, and captured them when they crawled out. I believe they are Northern Carrion Beetles (Silpha lapponica) which may explain why the female swallow carried them into the nest: according to one source, they feed on fly maggots.

3 Comments:

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful photo.
So, because these beetles feed on fly maggots and swallows also like fly maggots (?), they’re likely to end up in the same places? I must be missing something here....

We have two nest boxes that we've recently altered per your instructions (new front with your hole dimensions) after years of chasing house sparrows out of them and occasionally raising a few house sparrows when we were neglectful. The house sparrows haven't been able to get in this year, and so far, swallows are interested in one box, but haven't committed.

 
At 10:29 AM, Anonymous sarah grace porter said...

dear floyd you know that I told you I'm going to make a bird book well I'm starting today. and when I get more ink I'll print some bird picters off yor blog. the beete looked cute.

 
At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Aubrie Quick said...

I know this is an old post, but I'm wondering if the carrion beetles had any negative effect on the success of the Violet-green Swallow nest. I have found some in my nest boxes for the first time this year.
Thanks.

 

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