Friday, April 18, 2014
Creature Feature #181: Dung Beetle
The Dung Beetle plays an important role as nature's "clean-up crew". His diet consists partly, or entirely, upon the feces of vertebretes, specifically herbivores, althogh some species supplement their diet with mushrooms, decaying leaves and fruit. He uses his sensitive sense of smell to locate the dung and then rolls it up into a ball - sometimes up to ten times his weight. Sometimes the male and the smaller female will roll the ball together, with her riding on top, or following behind and occassionally assisting. The ball is always rolled straight, regardless of any obstacles. It will be buried in a soft patch of soil and the pair will then mate, the eggs being laid inside this warm brood ball. They then remain to guard their developing larvae.