Carrion is a term used to describe dead, decaying animals. Though it seems unsavory to think of anything consuming rotting flesh, the American Carrion Beetle is actually a hugely beneficial insect in an ecosystem. Without the feeding habits of this beetle, the amount of time needed for decomposition would increase, which not only means a longer odor and presence of carrion, but also a slower cycling of the nutrients (like proteins and minerals) that are in every animal's tissues. American Carrion Beetles can smell their main food source from far distances for such a small creature, and many may gather to feast and reproduce by it.
The black beetle has a yellow pronotum, the area near the head. A large black spot shaped like an insignia sits in the middle of it. The wing coverings, called elytra, are slightly bumpy and wide, giving the beetle a rounder shape instead of a long, narrow one. Look for this type of beetle in humid woodlands and forests, especially near dead animals. They may also be found walking through leaf litter and on trees looking for stinky, rotting fruit or smelly fungi, both of which may be secondary food sources for adults.
The American Carrion Beetle is typically 0.5 inches to 0.8 inches (13mm to 22mm) in size and has the following descriptors / identifiers: black; yellow; shell; wings; flying; six legs; small; symbol.
Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the American Carrion Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.