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Calling all moth trappers


beetles map

Make them all count and contribute to the UK distribution map of carrion beetles, the Silphidae. Members of this group of beetles are excellent animal models for study. The useful features are their size, distinctive markings and quick generation turnover. Some species exhibit a high level of parental care so that their different life stages should be relatively easy to find in carrion. The downside might be their behaviour and requiring carrion food sources and shelter. Although, unsavoury to many humans, imagine a world with incomplete decomposition of animals that die naturally. The study of carrion beetles and other invertebrates allows us to corroborate data from many sources in forensic science. Carrion beetles are often reported as visiting light moth traps and these catches may give some important distribution information. Visit www.coleoptera.org.uk/silphidae/home and find out about carrion beetles and how to submit records. Remember to take photos from several angles before releasing the beetles from your trap. Occasionally, during field trips these beetles are seen and sometimes actively looked for in roadkill and other animal corpses. The Hopes Valley field trip provided many rabbit corpses and some species of carrion beetle were keyed out.

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