Banquet Hosted by a Mouse

A dead mouse that has attracted blow flies and a carrion beetle

A dead mouse that has attracted blow flies and a carrion beetle

Blow Flies and a Carrion Beetle with a dead mouse.

Blow Flies and a Carrion Beetle with a dead mouse.

If you want to have some real fun get yourself a dead mouse and put it outside! Actually, I found this one on the boardwalk to our lake. As you can see it had already been found by lots of other visitors.

A closer view shows lots of blowflies and a large beetle with a yellow pronutum. The flies are there to dine and also to lay their eggs, which will hatch into maggots. The beetle is an American Carrion Beetle with the wonderful scientific name of Necrophilia americana, which  translates as “American Lover of the dead”. The beetle is there to dine on the corpse, and to eat some of the maggots.

Detail of an American Carrion Beetle and some Blow Flies

Detail of an American Carrion Beetle and some Blow Flies

A closer look at the  beetle (left above) shows its very interesting antennae with brushlike whorls. The photograph on the right shows two types of blowflies and a maggot. This was such a fascinating scene that I went back the next morning to check progress. Not a trace of the mouse was visible, and I do not know what happened to it.


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