What is a dung beetle? Dung beetles are types of beetles that usually feed on dung/feces. You might wonder where do dung beetles live? Dung beetles are mostly found in all the continents except Antarctica. They can be mostly found in deserts and grasslands. Let’s discuss the top 10 true facts about the dung beetles that you all must know.
- Dung beetles have a heightened sense of smell that helps them find the dung easily. Once they find the dung they roll them in a straight line despite the obstacles that come their way. Usually, in a pair, the male dung beetle rolls the ball and the female simply follows back. But sometimes, both of them roll the dung together.
- A female dung beetle judges a male dung beetle with the size of their balls. When soft mud is found, they stop and bury the dung ball and mate. Later, they prepare the ball by adding their own saliva and feces for the females to lay eggs inside it.
- They are exceptional as parents, as even after the eggs are laid, they stand still and protect their eggs. They make sure to provide a safe environment for the younger ones. The beetles usually carry the dung rolls to feed their younger ones. Both the parents of the younger dung beetles take care of them since it’s birth. Some kind of dung beetles even work together to dig nests for their younger ones to live safely.
- Dung Beetle lifecycle: Once the eggs are laid by the female dung beetles inside a dung ball, they make sure to cover the egg completely with dung because once the egg is broken they would eat the covered dung and come out as fully-nourished larvae. The next stage is the pupae stage and then moves on to the adult stage and the cycle repeats.
- According to the way they live they are classified into three groups: Rollers, tunnelers, and dwellers. Not all dung beetles roll the dung, only the rollers can form a ball of dung and bury it. They are used for the females to lay eggs or simply for the eating. Tunnelers, once they find the dung they simply dig and bury it. Dwellers, on the other hand, do not bury or roll instead, they simply live along with the dung providers. When the dung is dropped they feed on them and live.
- During the process of rolling, some dung beetles may get lost. So, it usually climbs up on the dung ball and uses the position of stars, sun, and the milky way galaxy to navigate. At first, when scientists saw the dung beetles making the little dance standing on the top, they wondered why, they then used a small-cap to cover up the sky, the beetles could not find the way. Beetles are the only insects that can mentally take a snap of the sky and once they are lost, they compare the two scenarios for them to navigate in the right direction. This is one of the interesting dung beetles facts.
- What do dung beetles eat? Do dung beetles eat poop? Yes, they do eat poop but dung beetles usually do not feed on all types of feces, they choose the dung they want to eat specifically. Studies have shown that dung beetles are more attracted to the dung of herbivores as they do not digest their food very well, so there would still be some grass or solid substances left, so the adult dung beetles feed on them. They also like the dung of omnivorous animals as they have high nutritional value and the right odor that attracts dung beetles.
- One of the types of dung beetles, Tauras Scarab is considered the strongest insect in the world. They have the ability to carry 1141 times their own weight. Imagine an average person carrying six double-decker busses full of people. That is what they exactly do.
- Sometimes, they have to walk under the hot sun, just like humans and other animals, they also feel the heat. So, in order to cool-off, they stand on their dung balls for a few minutes. Again, they continue their journey and repeats it whenever they feel tired or hot. This might be due to the moisture in the dung that cools off the dung beetle.
1. A Female Dung Beetle Judges a Male Dung Beetle With the Size of Their Balls.
- A. True
- B. False