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Silpha obscura

Silpha obscura is a Carrion Beetle. The name of this family is slightly misleading, for many species do not use carrion, but actively hunt for insects in about the same way Carabids do. The species below is very common on the European continent and lives in most parts of Russia as well. Carrion beetles hardly ever eat the carrion themselves: most adults are vegetarians. No the carrion is food for the larvae. Often lots of carrion beetles work together on bigger carcasses. As soon as they smell a dead animal, especially a bird or mammal, they 'run' to it and start digging below the carcas. After a while the dead animal will drop into the hole the carrion beetles dug. They'll deposit their eggs and fill up the hole. The larva will have plenty of food after hatching. Silpha obscura below does eat carrion being an adult and if no carrion as at hand it even becomes an active hunter! The animal reaches a length of some 14 to 18 mm, but actually may look bigger because of the round shaped and rather massive body. It is a very common species all over Europe (including most of Britain) and Northern Asia.