The dung of carnivorous animals is often unpleasant both in terms of odour and its potential for spreading disease via insects. With herbivorous animals these problems are not entirely absent and sensible hygiene precautions need to be taken but Eau de Sheep Poo is usually very faint and the insect visitors are, in general, very unlikely to go on to visit our picnic table. Of course, when I say the odour is very faint, that is not the case for insects such as dung beetles. Often the dung has barely hit the ground before the beetles arrive and, once there, they virtually 'swim' into this rich food source. Significantly several dung beetles belong to the mainly aquatic Hydrophilidae 'water-loving' family.
Many dung beetles are quite small, tiny even, but the rather handsome Aphodius fimetarius females can reach 8 mm in length.
Aphodius fimetarius, taken in flight. Foxhill Farm, Badby.
31 May, 2018
|My pinned specimen (9 mm) of Onthophagus coenobita from Foxhill Farm, Badby. 9 September, 2018|