A member of the family Silphidae, or carrion beetles, which feed on decaying organic matter such as dead animals. The adults average from 13 to 15 mm long. The middle of the pronotum (dorsal side, first segment of the thorax) on this beetle is dark-brown to black in color. The outer margins are outlined in a bright orange-red. The elytra are hardened forewings used to protect the fragile hind wings underneath. The elytra are attached to the suture that runs down the middle of the beetle's back and range from reddish brown to black. They have a distinctive tooth at the shoulder and the vertical ridges are very apparent. This elytra apex is rounded on males, whereas it is more tapered on the female body. O. noveboracense have temple regions behind their eyes that have a long line of erect setae that are of a yellowish tint and the inner tomora is a ridge-free region. The metatibiae are enlarged on the males ranging from moderate to large in size. Larvae range from light brown to dark reddish in color. The larvae are typically flat and trilobite-like in appearance.
Found mainly in the spring into the fall, and it has a strong preference towards a deciduous forest habitat.