Our board member, Morgan, sent us videos and photos of an insect that had a curious behavior of rolling up like a Common Pill Bug and sort of looked like one too. After plugging in a few key words, we arrived at the garden carrion beetle. A carrion beetle, whose diet is a little hard to pin down. According to BugGuide, it eats “primarily decomposing vegetable matter; may attack garden and field crops, grasses.” While the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, states it is “found on carrion and in decaying vegetation but was noted as a pest of strawberries in Naches, Washington, in 1937-1938.” Yet another field guide, put out by the National Wildlife Federation, says, “they feed on plant matter and living or dead insects.” It sounds like this could be a great insect to study. These beetles are found in damp lawns, fields, and mountain meadows in British Columbia east to Lake Superior and south into Mexico.
Photos by Morgan McNeill on 7/9/20 in Lolo, MT.