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Volume 2012, Article ID 578650, 6 pages
Research Article

Arboreal Burials in Nicrophorus spp. (Coleoptera: Silphidae)

1Department of Biology, Saint Mary’s University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3C3
2Department of Biology, St. Francis Xavier University, 2320 Notre Dame Avenue, Antigonish, NS, Canada B2G 2W5

Received 4 November 2011; Revised 19 January 2012; Accepted 27 January 2012

Academic Editor: G. B. Dunphy

Copyright © 2012 Amanda J. Lowe and Randolph F. Lauff. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nicrophorus beetles are well known for interring small vertebrates below ground for the purpose of rearing their young. However, the arboreal use of carrion has not been previously investigated. Nest boxes were suspended in the canopy of two forest habitats in Nova Scotia, Canada, to determine if this microhabitat fostered the same behaviour. Although four species of Nicrophorus as well as Oiceoptoma noveboracense (Forster) were recorded in association with carrion, arboreal reproduction was recorded exclusively and for the first time in N. tomentosus Weber and N. defodiens Mannerheim. Both N. sayi Laporte and N. pustulatus Herschel were associated with the arboreal carrion but did not reproduce on it during these experiments.