Dung Beetle

A dung beetle

If you happen to live on a dairy farm these hefty sized beetles are a common sight. I simply know them as “Dung Beetles” (Dichotomius carolinus) and am unable to get more specific than that, even though there are several species of dung beetles native to Virginia. This particular species is, hands down, the biggest of the dung beetle species and are hard to miss. Fortunately they don’t bother anyone or anything. Their only interest is finding a good cow pie (or several) to snatch some poo from. From which they will indulge in their famous habit of rolling up little balls of poo and scurrying away with it.  Which will end up getting buried underground where the happy couple will go on to raise baby dung beetles.  This is the reason why dung beetles roll dung in case you were wondering.   Far as I know, fresh manure is their primary diet, though if that’s in scarce supply they can certainly eat other things to sustain themselves. Rotting fruit and plant debris I suppose would do in a pinch. Certainly they may not be the prettiest bugs around, but they do perform an important service of helping rid and decompose unwanted crap. I guess somebody has got to do it!

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