Currently viewing the category: "Dung Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  what is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  South Central Kentucky
Date: 05/12/2019
Time: 05:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  found this bug in my garage – wonder if it bites and if dangerous
How you want your letter signed:  Julie

Dung Beetle

Dear Julie,
This is a beneficial Dung Beetle.  All around the world, Dung Beetles help to clean up animal feces by rolling the fecal matter into a ball, rolling the ball to an appropriate location, digging a hole and laying an egg.  When the egg hatches, the larva feeds on the excrement.  Based on the Blue Jay Barrens site, we believe your Dung Beetle is
Dichotomius carolinus.  The site states:  “The beetle at first appeared to be adorned with pale stripes.  Closer examination revealed the stripes to actually be soil caked into grooves on the wing covers.  Dung Beetle larvae develop in the ground at the bottom of a deep burrow where they feed on a supply of dung placed there by the adult beetle.  The beetles can accumulate soil on their bodies when digging nest burrows or when burrowing out of the soil after pupation.”  Dung Beetles are not dangerous, though the spurs on their legs might pinch if they are carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Rescued Dung Beetles
Geographic location of the bug:  Hialeah Florida
Date: 03/15/2019
Time: 12:12 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I often see dung beetles drowning in my swimming pool-not sure why they wind up in there so often. Last Dec 31 I netted four of them in a few minutes and set them on a wall to dry out and take photos before they wandered away. One was gone before I could get back with the camera. I love how their shells vary- one had a beautiful long curving horn and side spikes on the shield. I wonder if that’s a variation due to age or gender or is it just that some beetles get lucky in the shell genetic lottery?
How you want your letter signed:  Marian

Rainbow Scarabs

Dear Marian,
Your image of rescued Rainbow Scarabs, a type of Dung Beetle, is awesome, as is the rescue story.  We are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  Male Rainbow Scarabs have the horn, but there is some genetic lottery involved as well.  According to BugGuide:  “Pronotum of ‘major’ male has sharp posterior angles.  Major males, depicted, are easier to differentiate than minor males (w/ short horns) and females (w/ very short horns).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Strange winged beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Near Raleigh, NC
Date: 09/17/2018
Time: 12:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug is stuck between my window and screen. Nocturnal? Difficult to get a photo. Looked like a black beetle until he opened his wings.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in NC

Dung Beetle

Dear Curious in NC,
This is an Earth Boring Scarab Beetle in the family Geotrupidae, and it really resembles this member of the genus
Geotrupes pictured on BugGuide.  They are often called Dung Beetles.

Daniel,
Thank you! It was fascinating to watch him. I appreciate the information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Identify this bug please
Geographic location of the bug:  Hatfield hertfordshire England. My living room!!!
Date: 07/23/2018
Time: 05:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi this came flying into my living room tonight kept crashing into things it was so big. The noises when it crashed was outrageous! Never seen anything like this an especially not flying!
How you want your letter signed:  Alisha

Dung Beetle

Dear Alisha,
This is a Dung Beetle.  According to Down Garden Services:  “Most dung beetles are small and nocturnal, but the larger Common Dor Beetles (
Geotrupes spp.) and the Minotaur Beetle (Typhaeus typhoeus) are more easily seen. They are members of the Family Scarabaeidae.  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.”  You can report your sighting to the Dung Beetle UK Mapping Project or DUMP.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large Scarab with Extremely Long Legs
Geographic location of the bug:  South Mississippi
Date: 01/07/2018
Time: 09:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi bugman, I am an environmental biology student with a love for all things nature. I’m usually pretty good at identifying animals and insects but this one has stumped me. I found it on a box turtle carcas in a pitcher plant bog/ wetland area. I’m pretty sure it is in the scarab group, but it has acceptionally long legs. The 3rd set are about 1.25 inches long, and the 2nd set are about 1 inch long. I have yet to see it poke its head out but it has 4 little spikes near its mouth.  If you can help me identify this beetle I would really appreciate it! Thank you for your time!
How you want your letter signed:  Jaden

Humpbacked Dung Beetle

Dear Jaden,
We quickly identified your Scarab Beetle as a Humpbacked Dung Beetle,
Deltochilum gibbosum, thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Large, round, dull black beetle. Male has a prominent hump on each elytron. Front tarsi absent. Clypeus has two sets of teeth, the inner ones pointy, the outer rounded (hard to see in photos)” and the habitat is “wooded places; on carrion, dung, rotting fruit, fungi.”   According to Encyclopedia of Life:  “Found in woodlands from Virginia south to Florida and as far west as Texas and Illinois. Also occurs in Mexico.”

Humpbacked Dung Beetle

Dear Bugman,
This is Jaden just emailing you to thank you for identifying my humpback dung beetle! He was very interesting to come into contact with and snap a few pictures of! I appreciate your time and effort! Keep up the good work!
Thank you again,
Jaden

Humpbacked Dung Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this a type of dung beetle..?
Geographic location of the bug:  St.Louis MO
August 25, 2017
Sitting on my back patio a little west of St.Louis MO when this guy decided to join… Couldn’t see real well at first since my lights were off and it was dark out… thought it was a June bug but when I grabbed it I realized it was quite a bit bigger than a June bug snapped some pics and let it go out by my garden… it was really strong and had pretty unique 8 white or pearl collered lines 4 on the rear of each wing covers… I can’t find anything online that looks like it please help identify…thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Tim H

Dung Beetle

Dear Tim,
This is certainly a Dung Beetle, and we believe based on this BugGuide image, that it is
Dichotomius carolinus.  According to BugGuide:  “A big, black or blackish-brown, and bulky dung beetle. Note prominent striations on elytra, though these are often partly filled with dirt. Pronotum distinctively shaped. Vertex of head has short, blunt horn in male.”

Dung Beetle

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination