Burying beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) in the forest canopy: The unusual case of Nicrophorus pustulatus Herschel
The burying beetle Nicrophorus pustulatus Herschel can reproduce in both large (Trumbo 1992) and small (Robertson 1992) carcasses in the laboratory, but has never been observed using these iiz the wild (Robertson 1992) and comes more readily to lights than to traps baited with carrion (Anderson 1982; Lingafelter 1995). Under natural conditions. this species has only beell observed breeding in nests of black rat snakes (Blouin-Demers and Weatherhead 2000; Keller and Heske 2001) and may never use carrion for breeding purposes. In 2005 we caught two specimens of N. pustulatus Herschel in flight intercept traps suspended 15 meters or more above the ground in a bottomland hardwood forest in Georgia. We returned in 2006 to suspend carrion traps at three different heights to compare the vertical distribution of N. pustulatus with other burying beetles.