Living With Compost


Silphid Beetle

Temperatures ranging between 10 and 30 degrees C have increased the activity of my compost pile. We compost all forms of vegetable kitchen waste in a modified plastic barrel. The most numerous flying insects are fruit flies. The compost heap is a ready made feast of rotting fruits and vegetables. A number of arthropod decomposers and predators are present in substantial numbers. One of the common inhabitants are small silphid beetles about a third of a centimeter long. They have quite distinctive antennae, wings that do not cover the abdomen and fossorial forelegs. I don’t recognize the species, but these may be part of a group that does not bury waste. The fossorial legs would be handy for digging into the compost.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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