This colorful black and orange beetle is called a carrion beetle, sexton beetle or burying beetle. The adults demonstrate amazing parental care of their young from egg to larvae. They find a small dead animal, bury the carcass, lay eggs on it, and continue to feed the emerging young regurgitated carrion. As pictured here, these beetles typically have mites on them that “jump ship” when the beetle finds a carcass. This is an example of a symbiotic relationship where the mites feed on fly eggs that may be on / near the carcass, which would hatch into maggots and eat the beetle larvae’s food. In turn, the beetle provides the mites with “transportation” to predictable sources of carcasses (and fly eggs) that would otherwise be difficult for them to find.
Photo by Lisa Ann Cloo on 8/5/20 in Clinton, MT