The Info List - Necrobia Ruficollis

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Necrobia ruficollis, the ham beetle,[1] red-shouldered ham beetle or red-necked bacon beetle,[2] is a predatory beetle in the family Cleridae with a cosmopolitan distribution.[1]


1 Description 2 Ecology 3 Latreille 4 References

Description[edit] Necrobia ruficollis is 4.0–6.5 millimetres (0.16–0.26 in) long, and is mostly a metallic black or dark blue colour. Its thorax and legs and the bases of the elytra are reddish brown.[2] Ecology[edit] It feeds on dead animals, including dried and smoked meats and animal skins, as well as on cheese. It is frequently found in cadavers in the later stages of decomposition,[1] and is thus useful in forensic entomology. Latreille[edit] Pierre André Latreille was imprisoned in 1793 under threat of execution, after failing to swear allegiance to the state following the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.[3] When the prison's doctor inspected the prisoners, he was surprised to find Latreille scrutinising a beetle on the dungeon floor.[4] When Latreille explained that it was a rare insect, having identified it as Necrobia ruficollis, the physician was impressed and sent the insect to a 15-year-old local naturalist, Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent. Bory de St.-Vincent knew Latreille's work, and managed to obtain the release of Latreille and one of his cell-mates.[4] All the other inmates were dead within one month.[4] References[edit]

^ a b c "Ham Beetle, Necrobia ruficollis". Australian Museum. November 10, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2011.  ^ a b George Gordh, Gordon Gordh & David Headrick (2003). "Red-shouldered ham-beetle". A Dictionary of Entomology. CAB International. p. 772. ISBN 978-0-85199-655-4.  ^ Claude Dupuis (1974). "Pierre André Latreille (1762–1833): the foremost entomologist of his time" (PDF). Annual Review of Entomology. 19: 1–14. doi:10.1146/annurev.en.19.010174.000245.  ^ a b c David M. Damkaer (2002). "A celebration of Crustacea". The Copepodologist's Cabinet: A Biographical and Bibliographical History, Volume 1. Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, Volume 240. American Philosophical Society. pp. 114–130. ISBN 978-0-87169-240-5. 

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q6985636 BugGuide: 245809 EoL: 2400706 EPPO: NECRRF Fauna Europaea: 187066 GBIF: 1161901 iNaturalist: 176816 ITIS: 1