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Winter shift starting for dung beetles

Two years into the dung beetle project and much of the trapping for the South-West has been completed. Identification is still ongoing, though preliminary species present in our area have been established and now it is a matter of working out the species numbers at various times of the year.  

Heading into autumn we will be seeing a changeover of species as our summer active beetles die out and our winter actives start gearing up. Let’s have a look at what you might be seeing in the paddock.  

Early autumn will see the last hurrah for species like; 

  • Euoniticellus fulvus
  • Euoniticellus pallipes
  • Onitis aygulus
  • Onthophagus binodis  
  • Onthophagus taurus

These species will taper off over autumn and be gone by the start of winter not reappearing again until late spring.  

We have two species emerging through autumn; Aphodius fimetarius, and Geotrupes spiniger. Aphodius fimetarius, an orange-red and black dung beetle, is most active during the day and is a dweller, meaning that it lives in dung pats.  

Aphodius fimetarius

Geotrupes Spiniger, a shiny black beetle with a metallic blue underside, is most active at dusk and dawn and is a tunneler, meaning it creates tunnels under dun pats to live in.  

Geotrupes spiniger

The Bubas bison will also make an appearance for the winter shift, however, it will not be active until May/June. 

Keep your eyes out for these ecological engineers as they go to work for you.  

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