Dung beetles are another beneficial insect. They range in size from small to large and are usually black, brown, blue or red. They have two powerful back legs with teeth on them to assist in making dung balls.Â
Dung beetles-BBC Education
Grubs are yellow to white. The female & male roll the dung into a ball. The female deposits it in her nest and lays an egg in the middle. This provides food for the emerging babies. The unused portion of the dung goes back into the soil. They eat their weight in gold. This includes all types of dung, rabbit, sheep, horse, cow & pig droppings. Dung beetles consume much of the pasture waste that flies breed in so this helps reduce population of stable type flies and house flies. They can consume one cow paddie in less than 24 hours. These bugs are found in the UK, Euope, Africa, Asia, parts of North America & South America.
Dung beetle-Discovery OnLine Website (left), Lifecycle-Dept. of Agriculture Western Australia (right)
Habitat and Lifecycle
The male offers up a huge dung ball to the female in the mating ritual, usually at the biggest pile he can find. Other dung beetles try to steal dung balls and they are quite fascinating to watch. Sometimes females will help the partner with the initial dung ball gift. Each female lays only one egg in the summer and she stays with the egg till hatching approximately 12 weeks. Dung beetles are quite peculiar in that they will choose the biggest piles to utilize. They live in the soil and wait for rain to help them develop great dung balls. They can live up to three years in the soil. Let’s just call them nature’s true recyclers.