Scarabaeus

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Related to scarabaeuses: Scarabaeus sacer

Scarabaeus

 

a genus of beetles of the subfamily Scarabaei-nae. The best-known species is the common scarabaeus (Scarabaeus sacer), which has a smooth black body that reaches 4 cm in length. The head and tibiae of the forelegs are sharply serrated. Found throughout southern Europe, North Africa, Southwest Asia, and Middle Asia, scarabaeuses feed on dung, which they have rolled into balls. In ancient Egypt the rolling of dung into balls by the beetles was interpreted as a symbol of the sun’s movement across the sky, and the dens on the beetle’s head were likened to the sun’s rays; hence, the beetle was deified, and offerings were made to it.

REFERENCES

Fabre, J. H. Zhizn’ nasekomykh, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad [1924]. (Translated from French.)
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol 3, Moscow, 1969. Page 324.