Dung Beetle (various species
Dung Beetles are approximately 1" (25mm) long, by 0.75" (20mm) wide. Usually black. Some males have a single horn. Resident
Dung Beetles are found throughout Kenya, wherever animals exist. Longevity
It is thought that Dung Beetles live for 3 years. Predators
A variety of birds and animals, that normally eat insects, eat Dung Beetles. Behaviour
Essentially, there are three types of dung Beetle:
: These are the little black-coloured Beetles one commonly sees on the savannahs of Kenya, rolling circular balls of
dung along. Of course, they first have to shape the dung, before they can roll it. The dung is either used for breeding young,
or for food. They are capable of forming and rolling a piece of dung 10 times their weight.
: These little Dung Beetles simply bury dung wherever they find it. They are capable of burying 250 times their
own weight inside 8 hours. They do an awful lot of good in fertalising, by mixing soil and dung together.
: These Dung Beetles neither roll, nor tunnel, they simply live in dung. Diet
Dung Beetles live either partly or exclusively on dung from a variety of beasts. They are particularly attracted to the large herbivores, due to the dung still having plenty of nutrients in it. Elephants
, for instance, only digest 40% of what they eat. Aside from which, they eat fungus and decaying plant matter. Other Dung Beetle Facts
Dung Beetles do not need to drink. They get all the moisture they require from their food.
Dung Beetles have an acute sense of smell and are attracted to dung many metres away. Photographs
Images taken in Kenya's Masai Mara.