burying beetle definition

  • noun:
    • some of various black or black colored and orange beetles of genus Nicrophorus that bury lifeless mice along with other small animals where they feed and lay their particular eggs. Also referred to as sexton beetle.
    • The common name of beetles associated with household Silphidæ and genus Necrophorus.
  • verb-transitive:
    • the typical name of many types of beetles, of tribe Necrophaga; the sexton beetle; -- so-called from their particular practice of burying small lifeless pets by looking away the planet earth beneath them. The larvæ feed upon decaying flesh, consequently they are useful scavengers.
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