Dung Beetles

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Dung Beetles


a group of beetles of the family Scarabaeidae; the group includes the subfamilies Aphodiinae, Geotrupinae, and Scarabaeinae. Dung beetles measure from 3 to 70 mm long and usually are brown or black; sometimes they have a metallic sheen. Both the beetles and larvae feed primarily on dung; a few species feed on carrion, and still others are vegetarians. The females lay their eggs in the excreta of various animals, primarily mammals. Certain dung beetles, such as the Aphodiinae, use clumps of dung on the surface of the ground for egg laying; others roll the dung into egg, pear, or sausage shapes and then bury it in the earth. The parents of several species guard their young until development into beetles. The males often play an equal role in caring for the young.

There are more than 6, 000 species of dung beetles. They are particularly common in tropical countries. In the USSR there are approximately 450 species of dung beetles of the genera Scarabaeus, Copris, and Onthophagus.

Dung beetles play an important ecological role by removing and burying excreta. However, some dung beetles are temporary hosts of parasitic worms.


References in periodicals archive ?
Selangor, Malaysia, Feb 9, 2018 - (ACN Newswire) - The first observational study of a dung beetle species on Langkawi Island in the Andaman Sea reveals insights about its tastes and what that means for the ecosystem.
and their feces as a food resource) may alter competitive interactions between dung beetles species and may even cause local extinction of highly specialized species (Bogoni & Hernandez, 2014).
In addition, in a green urban area in Rome, Italy, the assemblage of dung beetles shifted from sheep to dog dung as the main source of food between 1986 and 1999 (Carpaneto et al.
Howler monkey (Alouatta palliata), dung beetles (Scarabaeidae) and seed dispersal: Ecological interactions in the tropical rain forest of Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico.
RE-ESTABLISHING dung beetle populations and improving soil structures could help Welsh livestock farmers boost pasture quality.
Almost 10,000 tiny dung beetles have been introduced on to farms in a bid to restore flood-damaged soil.
Their findings reveal that dung beetles were much more frequent in the previous interglacial period (from 132,000 to 110,000 years ago) compared with the early Holocene (the present interglacial period, before agriculture, from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago).
Identification of the cues used in the host finding behavior during the phoretic association Ceroptera rufitarsis (Diptera: Sphaeroceridae) and dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae).
First report of perching behaviour by dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in scarp forests of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Like seals, birds and people, dung beetles use stellar cues, neuroethologist Marie Dacke of Lund University in Sweden and her colleagues report January 24 in Current Biology.