large black bug inside tomatoes on ground

Asked September 29, 2014, 9:52 PM EDT

We have some large black and yellow insects inside tomatoes that have fallen to the ground. I picked up a tomato, and at least six scurried out. I do not ever remember seeing these, and cannot identify them by looking online. The closest I could come is a variety of shield bug? I am attaching a photo. It is about the size of a nickel. My question is what these insects are, and if they are harmful or beneficial.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like an American Carrion beetle. They are beneficial as they help with composting (breaking down) once-living materials.
cm