Dung Beetles

(redirected from dung beetle)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to dung beetle: Scarab beetle
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's I've ever seen before," Over the two-part series expect to see Judi climbing interacting with animals as sun bears, elephants crocodiles, as well as growing attached to a dung beetle eries we can mbing trees, mals such nts and rowing eetle she calls Bob and meeting a snake she names James Bond.
Over the two-part series we can expect to see Judi climbing trees, interacting with animals such as sun bears, elephants and crocodiles, as well as growing attached to a dung beetle she calls Bob and meeting a snake she names James Bond.
The Effects of Sublethal and Lethal Doses of Ivermectin on the Reproductive Physiology and Larval Development of the Dung Beetle Euoniticellus intermedius.
Crucially, because we don't dose them with avermectins (the anti-worming agents routinely fed to livestock in intensive systems) or antibiotics, their dung feeds earthworms, bacteria, fungi and invertebrates such as dung beetles, which pull the manure down into the earth.
A dung beetle inhabiting the Malaysian island of Langkawi prefers the faeces of an omnivorous long-tailed macaque, and is active only in forest areas, even though they can find the primate dung in other areas, according to research recently published in the journal Tropical Agricultural Science.
Distribution and diversity of dung beetle fauna depend greatly on the availability of cattle dung and the movement of cattle effectually redeploys nutrients (Nichols et al., 2008).
In the period between 1997 and 1999, numerous dung beetle surveys were carried out in several zones of the country, using pitfall traps baited with horse and cow dung in a variety of cattle pastures, including areas near to the current collection site, where the presence of the species was not recorded (Horgan, 2001; Horgan, 2002; Horgan & Fuentes, 2005).
The study links the drug to the decline of seven dung beetle species across the Iberian Peninsula and by implication to similar declines elsewhere.
This beetle is closely related to the Dung beetle which infest the cow dung and rolls the dung to a small round ball like structure which is commonly seen close to cattle sheds.
Response of dung beetle assemblage to landscape structure in remnant natural and modified habitats in southern Mexico.