Dung beetles are beetles that feed partly or exclusively on feces. All of these species belong to the superfamily Scarabaeoidea; most of them to the subfamilies Scarabaeinae and Aphodiinae of the family Scarabaeidae. This beetle can also be referred to as the scarab beetle. As most species of Scarabaeinae feed exclusively on feces, that subfamily is often dubbed true dung beetles. There are dung-feeding beetles which belong to other families, such as the Geotrupidae (the earth-boring dung beetle). The Scarabaeinae alone comprises more than 5,000 species.
Many dung beetles, known as rollers, are noted for rolling dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or brooding chambers. Other dung beetles, known as tunnelers, bury the dung wherever they find it. A third group, the dwellers, neither roll nor burrow: they simply live in manure. They are often attracted by the dung burrowing owls collect.
Famous quotes containing the words dung and/or beetle:
“They take unbelievable pleasure in the hideous blast of the hunting horn and baying of the hounds. Dogs dung smells sweet as cinnamon to them.”
—Desiderius Erasmus (c. 14661536)
“Ere the bat hath flown
His cloistered flight, ere to black Hecates summons
The shard-born beetle with his drowsy hums
Hath rung nights yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)