Dung Beetle

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Dung Beetle, Vancouver Island, BC
Dung Beetle, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Dung Beetle is a group of beetles in the family Scarabaeidae, insect order Coleoptera. They are important insects that help dramatically with the decomposition of animal manure. There are several different species; some live in woodlands and others dwell in pastures, some live in dog manure. They are a great help in aerating the soil and adding nutrients to the ground.

Adult Dung Beetles range in size from 2 to over 50 mm in length. Most of these beetles are dark brown or black but a few have bright patterns or metallic colors.

Once they find nice fresh dung, they separate a piece from the pile and either begin to eat it on the spot or start rolling it away.

These amazing beetles burrow into the dung and build a ball of dung and soil. When they arrive at their designated homestead, they dig a tunnel, roll the dung ball down inside it and store it away for later.

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