Dung Beetle


Black Dung Beetle from Eldoret, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed on heavily grazed rangeland west of Eldoret, Kenya, April 2013. Length is about 14mm.

Dung beetles are the magicians of the insect world. They gather a sphere of waste dung, bury it in an underground chamber together with and egg, and thereby convert it into a new amazing beetle. People must be grateful as these industrious insects clear their pastures of dung before it breeds disease-carrying flies. Notice how the head of the beetle is shaped like a spade designed for digging. This is the equipment used for excavating a chamber in the soil.

Scarabaeidae -- Scarab Beetle Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 29 November 2013