Ecology and behavior of burying beetles (Nicrophorus: Silphidae)



Research conducted primarily at The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado, but also in the vicinity of Pocatello, Idaho (ISU).


Grossman, Judah and Rosemary J. Smith. 2008. Phoretic mite discrimination among male burying beetle (Nicrophorus investigator) hosts. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 10 (1): 266-271.

Merrick, Melissa and Rosemary J. Smith.  2004. Temperature regulation in burying beetles (Nicrophorus spp.: Coleoptera: Silphidae): effects of body size, morphology, and environmental temperature. J. of Experimental Biology.  207: 723-733.

Smith, Rosemary J.  2002. Effect of larval body size on overwinter survival and emerging adult size in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus investigator. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 80(9):1588-1593. (FREE PDF reprint)

Smith, Rosemary J. and Merrick, M. J. 2001. Resource availability and population dynamics of Nicrophorus investigator, an obligate carrion breeder. Ecological Entomology, 26:1-8.

Smith, Rosemary J., Amy Hines, Stephanie Richmond, Melissa Merrick, Allison Drew, and Rachelle Fargo. 2000. Altitudinal variation in body size and population density of Nicrophorus investigator (Coleoptera: Silphidae). Environmental Entomology, 29(2):290-298. FREE PDF reprint.

Smith, Rosemary J., Bonilla, Martha, Calahan, Courtney, & Jay Mann. 2000/2001. Comparison of reproductive success of in-situ burial versus the use of abandoned burrows for carcass interment by Nicrophorus investigator (Coleoptera: Silphidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 73(4):152-158. Printed 9 May 2001.

Smith, Rosemary J. and Bryce Heese. 1995. Carcass selection in a high altitude population of the burying beetle, Nicrophorus investigator (Silphidae). The Southwestern Naturalist 40(1):50-55.

Recent Presentations:

Smith, R. J.  Reproduction in the burying beetle (Nicrophorus investigator): no communal breeding, and if larger, females may parent alone.  Animal Behavior Society, Snowbird, UT, August 2008.
Smith, R. J. A field test of the hypothesis that extended paternal care in Nicrophorus (burying beetle) yields delayed benefits.  Evolution Annual Meeting, Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN, June 2008.
Smith, R.J.  Molecular genetic tools for studying the evolution of reproductive behaviors of males and females.  ISU WeLEAD research symposium, February 2008.