Dung Beetles

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by dreuky, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. dreuky

    dreuky Junior Member

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    I am so proud of my not so little workers. The summer ones didn't seem to do their job. Maybe they thought they were on summer holidays. There were lots of them around and lots of poo that never got moved. Well now that it is turning cold and starting to rain the beetles are working their little butts off. Don't know if it is different breed or just the time of year but the horse poo is disappearing almost before my eyes. That has got to be good for my very sandy soil. Maybe not so good for when I want to start my vegie garden and fruit trees. But I think I have enough poo already collected from when the beasties where having their summer break
     
  2. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    That is awesome Dreuky, I have noticed of late that we have some dung beetles (small guys here in the southern USA) our hogs have found these guys by rooting and unfortunately the hogs seem to think they are tasty tidbits. At least I know that we will have new ones popping up come spring. I'll have to get the hogs moved to new pasture so the newly hatching beetles have a fighting chance.
     
  3. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    if we have anything like those up here in the north country i have yet to see them. then again, there's not much dung being left on the surface around here by anything other than the deer or raccoons that wander through at times.

    the various videos i've seen of them i think they're facinating creatures.

    our main detritovores are the worms and pill bugs.
     
  4. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Oh yeah Songbird, lots and lots of sow bugs here. I was pretty shocked to find the dung beetles living on our land, I didn't think we would have those here. They are really small if you compare these to the "normal" ones that are in Africa and other places on the planet. Ours are less than an inch long, at first I thought they were stink bugs but as I watched them longer, they behaved like dung beetles. I collected a few and then compared them to our known stink bugs, I also did some comparisons with photos of both and sure enough I found them listed as dung beetles. Our hogs love to eat them and every worm they can root up as well as cutworms and anything else living in our soil.
     
  5. Flatland

    Flatland Member

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    Into our second summer now. The winter dung beetles have gone where ever they go to in summer and the summer ones have come back. They are still as lazy as last year so I am collecting poo again not a bad thing as I want to start preparing soil for the fruit trees that I plan to put in this winter, so i will be digging big holes and backfilling with horse poo, biochar and the dug out dirt. (that's what I did last year and it makes beautiful soil). I have now learned a bit more about my dung beetles. The winter ones are are big, over an inch long and have horns on their heads. They look pretty mean. I am sure they could be filmed enlarged and used in a horror film. But they are hard working big beasts. They practically run after the horse waiting for an offering. When they get one within a day there is nothing left except big holes in the ground around which is soil that lots like worm castings. Then there are the summer beetles. They are small only about a quarter of an inch and they don't seem to do much at all. A nibble here or there but the poo is still left in heaps. It's the same on the next door's cattle property, lots of cow pats in summer, none in winter. So it seems to be a good working relationship. i do the poo picking up in summer and use the poo for my plants. In winter the dung beetles put the poo under the ground in the paddocks.
     

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