Dung Beetle Identification in Tasmania

DUNG BEETLE IDENTIFICATION CHART

(Adapted from a publication of Kiewa Valley Landcare, NE Victoria). Measure from tip of the head to the end of abdomen (in mm)

Black Beetles

LENGTH: 20 — 25mm

FEATURE: Blue/purple sheen on the underside

= Geotrupes spiniger (Blue dung beetle)

LENGTH: 13 - 20mm

FEATURE: Shiny black. Protruding shoulder horn and 2 horns 0n head

= Bubas bison (male)

FEATURE: Two parallel ridges on head instead of horns. Protruding shoulder horn not present

= Bubas bison (female)

LENGTH: 10 — 13mm
FEATURE: Matt black, when viewed from the side there is a distinct shoulder ridge - horns are not present

= Onthophagus binodis (Humpbacked dung beetle)

LENGTH: 7 - 12mm
FEATURE: Shiny black with coppery green sheen. A slight groove runs down the middle of the midsection. Males have upright horns

= Onthophagus australis (native species)

LENGTH: 8 — 10mm
FEATURE: Shiny black. Major males have long curved horns that sweep back over the thorax. Minor males have shorter horns and females have no horns but have a similar body shape long curved horns

= Onthophagus taurus (Bullhorned dung beetle)

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Brown Beetles

LENGTH: 8 - 12mm
FEATURE: N0 speckling on the midsection

= Euoniticellus fulvus

LENGTH: 7 - 9mm
FEATURE: Also found in dung

= Aphodius fimetarius (native species)

References and Images:

  • Doube, B., Dalton G., 2003, Identifying dung beetles on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Fleurieu Beef Group
  • Dung Beetles for Landcare Farming, 2008, Dung Beetle Dictionary, Landcare Australia
  • Tyndale-Biscoe, 1990, Common dung beetles in pastures 0f southeastern Australia, CSIRO Australia

Size comparison

(Photo: T. Cross, Ridgley)

Download this in pdf format for printing- dung beetle identification2.pdf.