Necrodes littoralis


Identifying Necrodes littoralis and Nicrophorus humator, two large black British beetles, is not as difficult as it might appear at first glance. Although both these beetles have black truncated elytra, orange tipped black antennae and are of similar size, between 15 and 30mm in length, there are two features that help identification. The first is that the orange antennae tips of Nicrophorus humator are club ended whereas those orange tips of Necrodes littoralis are only slightly wider than the rest of the antennae and do not terminate so abruptly. The second useful identifying feature can be seen by looking closely at the elytra, the hardened forewings covering the back, of Necrodes littoralis which have a bump about three quarters of the way down.

Similar Species

Nicrophorus humator

Identification difficulty

Usually associated with carrion and often in woodland areas, but may be attracted to light.

When to see it

Between April and September.

Life History

Necrodes littoralis feeds and lays eggs on carrion lying on the ground surface.

UK Status

Local in Britain and with a bias to coastal areas.

VC55 Status

Infrequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were approximately 11 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map