A family of necrophagous beetles that is relatively poorly represented species wise in Paraguay. The common name of the family stems from the habit of burying vertebrate carcasses by loosening the soil beneath them, a behaviour thought to have eveolved to reduce competition from fly larvae. There are two subfamilies, the Silphinae which feed on large items of carrion and show little parental care of young and the Nicrophorinae which feed on small items of carrion and show well.developed parental care. This family of beetles are of particular interest in forensic science as they are useful for estimation of time of death. Many species are boldly coloured with black and orange.
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FIGURE 1 - Unidentified sp. - Encarnación, Departamento Itapúa (Paul Smith October 2009).