Last week, we had a tumblebug sans dung ball, this week with! Ellen writes, “there were 2 rolling the dung along. The 2nd went into a dark hole in the ground when I approached. What fun!”
According to Pacific Northwest Insects author Merrill A. Peterson, “Although we have many dung feeders, only one of those species (Canthon simplex) performs the famous and comical behavior of rolling dung balls. Multiple individuals may work together to form these balls, which are then rolled away from the source as a buried food source for their offspring.” Dung beetles (subfamily Scarabaeinae) can also be dwellers, living and reproducing inside the food source and rarely creating nests, or tunnelers, digging tunnels beneath the food source creating nests. Whatever the method, they provide important economic and environmental services in the form of manure recycling.
Size: Body length 5 mm to 9 mm
Photos by: Ellen Knight on 5/14/22 in the Blackfoot Valley, MT