The American Burying Beetle (ABB), Nicrophorus americanus, is a red-listed endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We serendipitously recorded 3 individuals of this species during a forensic study in the summer of 2013. These specimens represent the first known records for Clark County, AR and the southeastern-most record in the State since the extirpation of the species from the region in the late 1800’s. Two males and one female were collected, photographed, sexed and measured. One male specimen was deceased upon discovery. The remaining two individuals were released. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) was notified of the accidental catch and death of an endangered species as required and the specimen was awarded to Ouachita Baptist University for further study. The deceased specimen was used for DNA barcode sequence analysis. A 400bp section of the cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene was amplified using gene specific primers and then sequenced using Sanger sequencing methods. Sequence analysis revealed the collected beetle to be 98.5% identical to the ABB voucher sequence and was 86% similar to other Nicrophorus species. Taken together the DNA sequence analysis results and taxonomic identification both support the identification of our specimen.
Kelly, J.; Files, T.; Reyna, N.; and Baley, B.
"DNA Barcoding of the First Recorded American Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus americanus, in Clark County, Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 70
, Article 21.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol70/iss1/21