Surname: Dung beetle
Latin name: Geotrupidae
size: 1 - 4cm
Older: 1 - 3 years
Appearance: black and blue tank
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition typePhoto: Kotfresser (koprophag)
distribution: Asia, Africa, Europe, North America
original origin: maybe Europe
Sleep-wake rhythm: day and night active
habitat: Steppe, forest, meadow
natural enemies: Birds
sexual maturity: after 6 - 10 months
mating season: January - April
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the dung beetle
- The dung beetle is found in almost all countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa, by introduction he spread to Canada. There are around 150 species worldwide, of which around sixty are native to Europe.
- Depending on the species, dung beetles can reach a height of up to three centimeters. Its iridescent shell has a black-blue to black color, the top wings are littered with rows of dot-shaped notches.
- The nocturnal and nocturnal insects can fly, but move due to their relatively high body weight only very cumbersome in the air.
- Dung beetles live on meadows and fields, in forests and steppe areas in plains as well as in layers of up to 2000 meters in height.
- The Latin name of the dung beetle is Geotrupes stercorarius, which translates to "the earth drill that muckers". This name is derived from its food behavior, because the dung beetle lives mainly from dung, so the feces of herbivorous mammals such as cows or horses. Only one subspecies is known, which also feeds on fresh leaves.
- In addition to digested and crushed parts of the plant, the manure also contains a large amount of water, which serves as a fluid supply to the dung beetle. Therefore, these insects eat only fresh feces, because dried manure can not process their organism.
- To protect their prey from predatory conspecifics, dung beetles roll their dung balls away from the food source as quickly as possible to their burrow.
- Atypical for reproductive behavior in the insect kingdom is the rearing of dung beetles, because males and females take care of the offspring. After mating, they work together to build a subterranean, multi-chambered structure to be used to feed the brood with food from feces. After oviposition, they seal the chambers, in which the larvae hatch and linger until pupation for a year, with clay.
- The underground supply of the offspring with manure also has a very positive side effect for nature, because the earth is supplied with nutrients and thus much more fertile.
- On the underside of the dung beetle stick yellow mites, which he carries around with him everywhere. Scientists still disagree as to whether the mites are parasites that feed on the dung beetle secretions, or whether they use the host only as a means of transport to be regularly supplied with fresh feces.
- Dung beetles use the arrangements of the stars as well as the sun and moon light during the locomotion as orientation guidance. This will not allow them to accidentally roll their manure ball back to the manure pile and lose it to a competitor.