Dung beetles and dung, new research

This video says about itself:

African Dung Beetle

15 October 2007

Sacred to ancient Egyptians, these beetles recycle – of all things – dung.

From Ecological Entomology:

Herbivore dung as food for dung beetles: elementary coprology for entomologists


Article first published online: 22 APRIL 2016

1. How do dung beetles and their larvae manage to subsist on herbivore dung consisting of plant remains that are at least partly indigestible, mixed with various metabolic waste products? To clarify what is known and not known about this basic aspect of dung beetle biology, the present review summarises information on dung composition and discusses the feeding of beetles (food: fresh dung) and larvae (food: older dung) in relation to this information.

2. There is 70–85% water in typical fresh dung, and undigested lignocellulose or ‘fibre’ constitutes about 70% of the organic matter which also contains 1.5–3% N. About 75% of this is ‘metabolic faecal nitrogen’, mostly associated with dead and alive microbial biomass. As all essential amino acids and cholesterol are probably present, additional synthesis by microbial symbionts may not be needed by the beetles.

3. Beetles minimise the intake of lignocellulose by filtering fibre particles out of their food which is probably microbial biomass/debris with much smaller particle size. Excess fluid may be squeezed out of this material by the mandibles before ingestion.

4. All larvae are bulk feeders and unable to filtrate, but little is known about the composition of their food, i.e. older dung in pats or underground brood masses. Larvae in dung pats may depend on easily digestible dung components, probably microbial biomass, whereas the nutritional ecology of larvae in brood masses is still not understood. Unravelling the composition of their food might answer some of the so far unanswered questions.

African beetles’ mating season

This video says about itself:

Beetles Brawl For Female Attention – Africa – BBC

8 April 2016

When one monkey beetle has his sights set on a female he becomes engrossed in a battle for her attention.

Ladybirds mating, video

This 5 April 2016 video shows two ladybugs mating. The mating may last for 45 minutes. In the Netherlands, female ladybirds lay eggs in May. Alex Molin from the Netherlands made the video.

Rare beetle monitoring in the Netherlands

Cucujus cinnaberinus

Translated from the Dutch entomologists of EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten:

April 4, 2016 – For the strictly protected Cucujus cinnaberinus beetle species in recent years entomologists have sought a monitoring method minimizing the damage to its habitat (bark from recently dead trees). Successfully.

Cucujus cinnaberinus spends almost all its life, both as larva and as adult beetle, hiding behind bark. The beetle is on the Habitats Directive, meaning it and the dead trees where it lives are protected strictly.

This rare beetle species was seen in the Netherlands for the first time in 2012.

Hunting billbug video

This video shows a hunting billbug (Sphenophorus) walking on grass.

The video is by Silvia Hellingman from the Netherlands.

Rare beetle discovered in Dutch Veluwe region

Calosoma (Callisthenes) reticulatum ♀. Fabricius, 1787. Germany, Pommern, ex coll. Reitter

Today, natuurbericht.nl in the Netherlands reports that last June, entomologists found a beetle at Harskamp military shooting range in the Veluwe region.

Now, that beetle turns out to be Callisthenes (Callisphaena) reticulatus. A very rare species, seen in the Netherlands just once before, in 1922.

Beetles use wildlife passages

Nebria salina

There are 48 wildlife passages in the Netherlands. At many of them, there is research about which animals use them. This research is mainly about mammals.

Biologist Rijken Vermeulen two years ago started research at the wildlife bridge between the Dwingelderveld and Terhorsterzand nature reserves in Drenthe province. His research is focused on beetles, like Nebria salina, and other small invertebrates using the passage.