This little beetle has the appearance of a bumble bee at first glance, especially in flight. It can smell carrion and flies to it, landing on it and quickly going to work. The yellowish pronotum ('shoulder' area) has a distinct black spot or mark on it.
Adults prefer moist habitats and are active all summer and more so on warm days. They can be found in moist areas. Hiding is its preferred method of defense. Eggs are laid near a decaying animal in order to keep the newly hatched black larvae close to a food source. It takes about 3 months for larvae to mature into adulthood. One generation of beetles is born each year.