what insect is this

Asked August 2, 2019, 2:02 PM EDT

some kind of flying beetle. About the size of a dime. I'm in Ramsey, MN

Anoka County Minnesota

3 Responses

Thanks for the question.

I'm sorry but I can't see in your picture any insect. There is a lack of clarity. Could you please take a picture showing just the insect and nothing else? I would then be glad to attempt an identification.


Steve H - The insect makes up almost half the picture The white patch makes up the upper portion of its back between the head and the wings. There is a gray marking on the white patch that looks like Bart Simpson's silhouette with a part in the middle of his hair. Using reference points Upper L and R and Lower L and R, if you look from LL to UR the beetles head is below the white patch. Just above the white patch is the bugs wings. They are wavy(not smooth but hard to describe) which are very cool. Also, if you look closely you can see the legs on the insect. It is in a planter for a pepper plant and the white specs are from the potting soil. it flew in as I was pruning the plant. I took the pic with my phone. you need to blow up the pic as big as possible. Like on PC w/ a monitor. It flew away shortly after letting me take its picture. Im guessing it is some type of beetle. Hope this helps

Thanks for the question.

In consultation with another Master Gardener, we have decided that this is an American Carrion Beetle. What appears as white in your picture is actually light yellow. This threw me off track for a bit. I suspect that this might reflect the exposure you used when you took the picture. It’s a very interesting insect. As the name implies, it lays its eggs on decaying flesh. Back in my teaching days when I found a dead animal and wanted to look at its skeleton, I let a bunch of carrion beetles feast on the animal. Within a few months, only the skeleton was left. See:



Thanks again for the question.