Dung beetles – the busy beetles

I really like dung beetles! Maybe the name doesn’t sound that appealing but they are so industrious – they are not animals that lounge around in the sunshine on flowers they are always pushing and pulling so that they can get on with their business.

Dumbledor beetle 1
This is a dumbledor beetle (Geotrupes sterocorus) – they specialise in recycling rabbit droppings – note the three segments at the end of the antennae – that is diagnostic of this group of dung beetle called the  Geotrupid beetles.

Dumbledoor 2Here is a dumbledor tackling a rabbit dropping getting ready to roll it away and down its burrow

Minataur 2Here is the closely related minotaur beetle (Typhaeus typhoeus) – note the ‘horns’ on this male

Minataur 1Another rabbit dung specialist

Both animals are commonish on Dartmoor – watch out for them and watch how they just keep going – working away.

Also be most careful that you don’t stand on one by accident as they can often be found trundling along on footpaths where they are very vulnerable.


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