Dung beetle

Dung beetle
Scarabaeus viettei (syn. Madateuchus viettei, Scarabaeidae) in dry spiny forest close to Mangily, western Madagascar
Scarabaeus viettei (syn. Madateuchus viettei, Scarabaeidae) in dry spiny forest close to Mangily, western Madagascar
Scientific classificationEdit this classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Infraorder: Scarabaeiformia
Superfamily: Scarabaeoidea
Groups included
Cladistically included but traditionally excluded taxa

Dung beetles are beetles that feed on feces. Some species of dung beetles can bury dung 250 times their own mass in one night.[1]

Many dung beetles, known as rollers, roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or breeding chambers. Others, known as tunnelers, bury the dung wherever they find it. A third group, the dwellers, neither roll nor burrow: they simply live in dung. They are often attracted by the feces collected by burrowing owls. There are dung beetle species of various colors and sizes, and some functional traits such as body mass (or biomass) and leg length can have high levels of variability.[2]

All the species belong to the superfamily Scarabaeoidea, most of them to the subfamilies Scarabaeinae and Aphodiinae of the family Scarabaeidae (scarab beetles). As most species of Scarabaeinae feed exclusively on feces, that subfamily is often dubbed true dung beetles. There are dung-feeding beetles which belong to other families, such as the Geotrupidae (the earth-boring dung beetle). The Scarabaeinae alone comprises more than 5,000 species.[3]

The nocturnal African dung beetle Scarabaeus satyrus is one of the few known invertebrate animals that navigate and orient themselves using the Milky Way.[4][5]

  1. ^ "Some Less Known Fascinating Facts about Dung Beetle". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  2. ^ Griffiths, Hannah M.; Louzada, Julio; Bardgett, Richard D.; Barlow, Jos (2016-03-03). "Assessing the Importance of Intraspecific Variability in Dung Beetle Functional Traits". PLOS ONE. 11 (3): e0145598. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1145598G. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145598. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4777568. PMID 26939121.
  3. ^ Frolov, A.V. "Subfamily Scarabaeinae: atlas of representatives of the tribes (Scarabaeidae)". Retrieved on 2007-08-02.
  4. ^ Jonathan Amos (24 January 2013). "Dung beetles guided by Milky Way". BBC News. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  5. ^ Dacke, M.; Baird, E.; Byrne, M.; Scholtz, C. H.; Warrant, E. J. (2013). "Dung Beetles Use the Milky Way for Orientation". Current Biology. 23 (4): 298–300. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2012.12.034. PMID 23352694.

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