of eastern NSW

Dung BeetlesHow to tell if your beetle is a dung beetle

To determine if your insect is a beetle, go to the Key to Insect Orders at the www.lucidcentral.org website.

Dung Beetles belong to the family Scarabaeidae, subfamily Scarabaeinae.
For your beetle to be a dung beetle, it must have all of the characteristics listed below.

Beetles belonging to the family Scarabaeidae are usually stout bodied beetles of moderate to large size, with:

  • labrum and  mandibles not distinguishable from above (concealed by clypeus) (Fig 1);
  • lamellate antennal club present and antenna with less than 11 segments;
  • first visible abdominal segment split into two lateral triangular portions
  • fossorial legs, at least the front tibiae with strong teeth on the outer margin.

Beetles belonging to the Subfamily Scarabaeinae are ovate or barrel-shaped beetles, mainly black or brown in colour, with:

There is one dung beetle genus, Demarziella, that superficially resembles the beetles from a different subfamily, the Aphodiinae.
In this case it is particularly important to check that all the characters listed above are present.