- In Ancient Egypt dung beetles, or scarabs, were worshiped.
- Egyptians believed that the scarab was a god that rolled the sun across the sky and buried it each evening.
- The sun emerged the next morning born anew.
Dung Beetle Facts
- Insects part of the Scarabaeoidea family.
- Feed partly or entirely on feces.
- 3 dung beetle types: rollers (roll balls), tunnelers (bury dung where they find it) and dwellers (live in manure).
- Possess super powerful front legs that can roll up to 50 times their own weight! 🙂
- Have been around for over 50 million years.
- There are over 7000 dung beetle species worldwide.
- Dung beetles remove dung from cows/wild animals and form dung balls.
- They have a very funny way of carrying around their “treasured prize”: heads down and bottoms up! 😉
- Dung balls are the centerpiece of their new homes.
- Once they’ve picked the right spot, the beetles dig a hole to burry the ball.
- The female then lays her eggs in the new burrow.
- When the eggs hatch, they feed on the dung and renew the whole cycle.
- The abundance of dung beetles can be correlated with the abundance of flies. In other words, more dung beetles = less flies.
- The recycling of the dung aerates the soil and the nutrients in the dung ball nourish the Earth.
- Ultimately, this improves the nutrient cycle, betters the soil structure and encourages forage growth.
Just for Fun
Enjoy this fun dung beetle video by Rich Laburn (thanks man, you’re a champ ;)). And take a good look at the animal’s technique to know where it’s going…it rolls its ball, stops and climbs to the top to check its surroundings! 🙂