Remember this picture? I didn't know what these were. While searching still for their identity, I came upon www.bugguide.net, they offer a service to identify your bug if you supply them with a picture. Just for kicks, I uploaded this picture and in literally 10 minutes was given the answer to my quest. Thanks guys at Bug Guide!!! Now, the American Carrion Beetle may be as common as an ant, but I really had no clue, and they didn't make me feel less of a bug person for not knowing this. If you have a bug and don't know what it is, this service is great.
Let's learn about the American Carrion Beetle. This beetle is less than an inch long. True, mine was about .75". They feed on dead and decaying matter as well as larvae of some insects. These may have been munching on tree sap. They help break matter down and return nutrients into the soil. Very important guys.