The intrepid students of IB 468 caught this beautiful black burying beetle during a field trip to Dixon Springs, Illinois. They were kind enough to let me photograph it before it went to the collection.
Rather than me blathering on about this insect’s biology, I’ll direct you instead to the N. orbicollis wikipedia page. Wikipedia is normally hit-or-miss with regard to insects, but the page for N. orbicollis is an example of the medium at its best.
One thing about carrion beetles, though. Pretty, yes. But they smell terrible, and I spent 5 minutes washing my hands after handling it for this shot.
photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 200, f/11, 1/200 sec, indirect strobe bounced off white tray