Pitfall traps were used to determine diversity, seasonality, and numbers of burying beetles on the Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) during the summers of 1997 and 1998. Traps were baited with either beef liver (1997) or whole mouse carcasses (1997 and 1998); significantly more carrion beetles were found in traps baited with carcasses. A total of 1003 carrion beetles, representing 8 species, were trapped over the course of 1556 trap nights. One of these species, Necrophila americana Linneaus, had not previously been recorded in Riley County. One additional species was found at sites where pitfall trap bait was discarded, bringing the total number of KPBS silphid species to 9. Bait age was an important determinant in attracting silphids to pitfall traps, as numbers of beetles in the trap continued to increase with bait age up to 6 days. Grassland topography (upland vs. lowland trap sites) significantly affected the numbers of carrion beetles trapped. Grassland burn history did not affect number of carrion beetles trapped, but did seem to influence species diversity.
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Vol. 78 • No. 2