Nicrophorus pustulatus Herschel, 1807, Herschel, 1807

Mullins, Patricia L., Riley, Edward G. & Oswald, John D., 2013, Identification, distribution, and adult phenology of the carrion beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae) of Texas, Zootaxa 3666 (2), pp. 221-251: 235

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Nicrophorus pustulatus Herschel, 1807


Nicrophorus pustulatus Herschel, 1807  

Figs. 1 View FIGURES 1 – 6 , 28 View FIGURES 24 – 30 , 42 View FIGURES 37 – 42 , 55 View FIGURES 50 – 55

Necrophorus pustulatus Herschel, 1807: 271   (see Sikes et al. (2002) for synonymy).

Diagnosis. Body length 16–22 mm, entirely black except for anterior and posterior elytral maculae red-orange; epipleuron entirely black, anteriorly glabrous; anterior and posterior elytral maculae not joined laterally; anterior elytral maculae small and round, lateral in position, reaching epipleural ridge; posterior elytral macula transverse or reduced to two separate round spots, not reaching epipleuron or elytral suture. Antennal club orange with basal segment black. Pronotum orbicular with transverse anterior impression, disc glabrous, lateral margins moderately broad. Dorsal surface of elytron without long hairs. Epipleural ridge extended to point below or almost below humeral callus. Lateral portion of metasternum sparsely covered with brownish hairs. Posterior lobe of metepimeron glabrous or nearly so. Tarsal empodium bisetose.

Range. Nova Scotia south to Florida, west to Alberta, Nebraska, and Texas (Anderson & Peck 1985, Peck & Kaulbars 1987).

Texas distribution. See Fig. 55 View FIGURES 50 – 55 . This species is primarily confined to the Texan and Austroriparian biotic provinces of Texas with one occurrence record from the Kansan biotic province. It occurs in the following Texas vegetational areas: pineywoods, gulf coast prairies and marshes, post oak savannah and blackland prairies, and rolling plains. Confirmed counties (11): Anderson, Brazoria, Brazos, Fort Bend, Hemphill, Lamar, Leon, Nacogdoches, Panola, Tyler, Wood. Collections: EGRC, SFAC, TAMU, UTIC.

Seasonality in Texas. See Fig. 42 View FIGURES 37 – 42 . The adult seasonality profile of this species (based on 22 occurrence records: Appendix I) is unimodal, with a peak from spring to late fall. The months of August and September have few occurrence records likely due to under-sampling in these months, making the seasonality profile appear to be weakly bimodal.

Biological notes. Anderson and Peck (1985) and Lingafelter (1995) report that adults are nocturnal and are found mostly in forested habitats.

Data from examined labels. Collecting methods: UV light trap, hanging sugarbait trap, blacklight/UV light trap, pit-fall trap. Habitat records: pine –oak woods [blacklight/UV light trap], in rotten log and on ground. Carrion records: under dead chicken. Several specimens were collected at night. This species is restricted to the eastern forested vegetational areas of Texas with a single record from the rolling plains (riparian corridor of the Canadian River in (Hemphill County). Robertson (1992), Trumbo (1992) and Rauter and Moore (2002) published on the reproductive behavior of this species. Trumbo (1990 a) published on the ecology of this species in the southeastern United States, and Anderson (1982) discussed the natural history. This species appears to have undergone, or is undergoing, a host shift from carrion to snake eggs (Smith et al. 2007).