Syn. Silpha americana. It lays its eggs in, and its larvae consume, raw flesh (particularly that of dead animals) and fungi. The larvae and adults also consume fly larvae and the larvae of other carrion beetles that compete for the same food sources as its larvae. Adults are 12 to 22 mm long. The pronotum is primarily a pale yellow with a black spot in the center. In the southern portion of the range, the elytra are entirely black while in the northern portion they have a yellow rear tip. The elytra are shorter than the body of the beetle, leaving the tail end slightly exposed. The larvae are black and appear armored.