Necrobia beetle larva, SEM

Necrobia beetle larva, SEM

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This image is part of the feature Ten Amazing Beetle Facts
This image is part of the feature Insect Detectives

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ham beetle (Necrobia sp.) larva, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Forensic entomologists study this beetle because it feeds on dead bodies. The beetle feeds on dried meat, so it does not feed on a corpse until around 2-4 months after death when the body is beginning to dry out. This larva hatched from an egg laid by a female beetle, and the larva also feeds on the greasy meats of a decaying body. When full-grown it crawls away and spins a cocoon in which it pupates into the adult form and lies dormant over the winter. The adult form emerges in the summer. This seasonal activity can help provide evidence for the season of death. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, bacon, beetle, coloured, crime research, death, decay, decomposition, forensic entomology, forensics, ham, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, larva, nature, necrobia sp., scanning electron micrograph, sem, underneath, underside, wildlife, zoology

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