Coprophages


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Coprophages

 

animals that feed on excrement, chiefly that of mammals.

The main coprophages are dung beetles, dung water scavenger beetles, and larvae of Diptera (such as of dung flies, houseflies, some syrphus flies, soldier flies, and tachinids), as well as earth-worms, Enchitreidae, Oribatei, and other saprophages that appear on excrement in the last stages of its decomposition. In the forest zone the most common coprophages are dung beetles of the genera Geotrupes and Aphodius and the larvae of numerous dung flies. In the steppes, beetles of the genera Copris, Scarabaeus, and Gymnopleurus are frequent. Sometimes dung beetles are specialized for feeding on the dung of particular animal species. For example, Aphodius fossor and Onthophagus taurus feed on the dung of cattle. Coprophages contribute to the cycle of matter in nature—they hasten the decomposition of organic remains and aid processes of the humification of soil, which increases its fertility.

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In one memorable episode from the third series, War Of The Coprophages, Gillian had to eat a live cockroach.
The insects are coprophages (kop-RAH-fa-JUHZ), or animals that feed on other organisms' waste.
Data analysis: Scarabaeinae community structure was analyzed using the criteria of Halffter and Favila (1993) and Favila and Halffter (1997): segregation by feeding habits (strict coprophages, strict necrophages and generalists); food relocation (percentage of burrowers and rollers); spatial segregation (percentage of umbrophiles and heliophiles); temporal segregation (percentage diurnal and nocturnal); and size segregation (small -- 3 to 8 mm, medium -- 9 to 14 mm, large -- 15+mm).
The coprophages dominated in all three zones, though the pasture had the lowest percentage of necrophages and generalists.