Please identify this bug thanks!
Location: Wiltshire, England.
October 13, 2011 8:25 am
Dear Mr Bugman
I found this bug in my greenhouse today – it was trying to escape from a plastic plant module – no idea how it got in there. It was about 3cm long. When I tipped it out into the garden, it fell on its back and the underneath was an irridescent blue. I live in Wiltshire. Would love to know what it is, and whether I did the right thing in letting it go!
Signature: Karen

Lousy Watchman

Hi KAren,
We just learned some fascinating information.  This is a Dung Beetle, and upon doing the research on species from the UK, we learned on the Down Garden Services website that this is a Common Dor Beetle or Lousy Watchman in the genus
Geotrupes.  According to the Down Garden Services site:  “Dung beetles are important because they get rid of a lot of animal faeces, breaking it down and incorporating it into the soil, so helping in the recycling of nutrients. This also makes the world a less smelly place to live in and reduces the numbers of other insects like flies which would otherwise breed in it.  In the UK dung beetles utilise the dung of cows, horses, rabbits, deer and sheep, eg. a cow produces about 7 tons of dung per year. The Common Dor Beetle, Geotrupes stercorarius, is known as a ‘tunneller’, usually found in cow dung; they make tunnels below the dung. They are good at flight and a single beetle flies around until it finds a fresh cow pad. Once a pair have got together they dig a tunnel beneath the pad and drag as much dung as they can down into it. The females normally stay in the burrow, using their long broad legs to build numerous galleries in the soil. Dung is deposited in each gallery and an egg is laid in the dung, providing the emerging grub with nourishment. The males provide the dung pellets for the female to bury. Often they have a colony of mites living on them hence the name Lousy Watchman.”   The Wild About Britain website has a nice photo of the blue undersides.

Dear Daniel
You are amazing! Thank you so much, we are all thrilled that you identified our bug.
Can’t thank you enough!
Karen.

Location: UK

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