Black Sexton Beetle - Nicrophorus humator


There are several Sexton beetles in the UK but this is the only all black species (apart from the orange tips to its antennae) and it is large (20-30 mm).

Identification difficulty

As they fly long distances to feed on carrion they can be seen a wide variety of habitats were their food is to be found.

When to see it

Mainly April to September.

Life History

The Sexton beetles are the undertakers of the insect world. They fly to carrion, attracted by the smell. If the dead animal is small, such as a mouse, they crawl underneath and excavate the soil so that the corpse gradually sinks into the ground. They then lay eggs nearby, and stay until the larvae hatch, and even feed them.

UK Status

Fairly common over much of Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 103 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map