Most recently reviewed by: Charles Allen (2018)
Common Name(s): Dung Beetle
Dung beetles are highly beneficial insects that are known to bring ecological balance and economic advantage to the environment. Dung beetles live in many habitats and demonstrate remarkable behaviors that surround the removal of animal feces for food and reproduction. Dung beetles are influenced by environmental context and do not prefer extremely cold or dry weather.
Dung beetles are classified as rollers, tunnellers and dwellers. The rollers are seen on the surface rolling dung into round balls and taking these dung balls back to a location where it will be used as a food source and/or breeding chamber. The tunnellers might go unnoticed by most, as they will dig burrows in the ground below the feces and will remove morsels of the dung and take into the tunnels for use as food and/or breeding chamber. The third groups termed dwellers neither roll or burrow but just simply live in the manure.
Dung beetle rollers and tunnelers are known to live and work in pairs to remove the feces. The pair will work together to get the dung back safely and males will protect the dung balls from poachers. The male dung beetles are equipped with tusks, horns, prongs, skewers and antlers used for protecting their female and future offspring.
Origin and Distribution
Found worldwide except for Antarctica
Eggs – larvae – pupae – adult
Eggs are laid within dung balls.
Larvae (grubs) feed, live and develop in the dung balls.
Life cycle roughly 6-10 weeks, some up to 1 year
ManagementIf you live in the State of Texas, contact your local county agent or entomologist for management information. If you live outside of Texas, contact your local extension for management options.
None, these are highly beneficial insects that are easily killed by insecticides.