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The Dung beetle

17 November 2014

www.leopard.tv

Ground-living beetles are a major functional asset in ecological systems and have been present on the land surface of the Earth for many millions of years although their fossils are elusive. Many types of beetle burrow into the soil to lay eggs, pupate, feed and hibernate. Dung beetles are beetles that have developed a specialized life-style after the appearance of large herbivores. They are part of the subfamily Scarabaeinae which includes the so-called flesh-eating scarab beetle, one of the myths of ancient Egypt where it was regarded as being sacred. There are more than 5000 species of dung beetle in the world. The sacred scarab beetle Scarabaeus sacer was linked to Khepri the god of the rising sun and was a dung-rolling dung beetle. In ancient Egypt dung beetles were believed... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

References:

Picker, M, C Griffiths and A Weaving 2002. Field guide to insects of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik, pp 198 - 213.

Richardson, P O and R H Richardson 2000. Dung beetles and their effect on soil. Ecological Restoration 18: 116 - 117.

Scholtz, C H and E Holm 1985. Insects of southern Africa. Durban: Butterworth, p. 220.

Wikipedia 2012. Dung beetle. http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Dung_beetle

 

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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