Dung beetle

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Dung beetles feed exclusively on dung, which they accomplish by rolling a piece of dung some distance from where it was deposited, and burying it in order to feed on it underground. They also prepare food for their larvae by excavating an underground chamber, and filling it with balls that have eggs laid in them. The growing larva feeds upon the dung ball, pupates, and eventually emerges as an adult.

They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from the 10 cm long Goliath beetle, one of the world’s biggest insects, to the smaller but much more famous scarab beetle. Ancient Egyptians thought very highly of the scarab (from their taxonomic family name, Scarabaeidae). They believed the dung beetle kept the Earth revolving like a giant ball of dung, linking the insect to Khepri, the Egyptian god of the rising sun.

Data By Professor Javier Alba-Tercedor at University of Granada, Spain

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