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DUNG BEETLE (TUMBLE BUG)











  




Photo Courtesy:

https://www.google.com/search?q=free+dung+beetle+pictures&espv=2&biw=1024&bih=677&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CDIQ7AlqFQoTCJ_ewa6mtccCFQScgAod8rwCEw

 
This insect is most interesting.  As a child on the farm, I remember seeing them around the cow lots.  They would roll a ball of cow manure to who knew where.  They were very industrious, and it was funny to watch their antics as they went about rolling their roll of dung along.  Sometimes there would only be one beetle, and other times, there would be two working on each ball.

Not all dung beetles eat poop exclusively, but dine on undigested plant matter provided by herbivores (vegetarians).  For this article, we will focus on the poop eating beetle.  The ball he pushes can be 250 times his own weight.  He is black or brown In color, and sometimes has a metallic sheen to his body.  The ball contains the egg or eggs that the female lays, and the poop itself is the food for the larvae when it hatches.  In some species, the male aids in the nest preparation, and it is the only known insect that helps with nesting.

The adult lives in the soil under the animal feces.  Some mate for life.  All are an important part of our eco-system, in that they aid in the disposal of the waste from other animals.

They can be kept as pets, but require fresh dung to keep them happy.  Do a lot of research before you take one in to care for, watch and raise.  Even some of the rich and famous have pet dung beetles.

 
Sources:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=what%20is%20an%20herbivore

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dung_beetle

http://insects.about.com/od/beetles/a/10-Fascinating-Facts-About-Dung-Beetles.htm

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Tumble-Bugbr_vq1314.htm