Common Sexton Beetle - Nicrophorus vespilloides


This is a very distinctive and brightly coloured beetle, with black and orange patterning on the elytra. The wing cases are squarish and shorter than the abomen.

Identification difficulty

Under dead birds and mammals.

When to see it

This beetle is commonly seen at light in gardens, often in company with a related, all black species, the Black Sexton Beetle.

Life History

These beetles perform an important service in getting rid of carrion (dead small animals and birds). Males and females cooperate to bury this matter, by digging beneath the bodies to provide a food supply for their larvae.

UK Status

Fairly common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 73 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