Dung Beetle Projects

Recent projects

Geotrupes spiniger establishment survey

Earlier surveys have indicated that the three summer-active species are well established in all pastoral regions of the State.

However, surveys in 2013 and 2014 determined that G. spiniger has also been established in all pastoral regions other than the ‘Channel’ region (south of Kingston).

It is suggested that this is due to the dolerite soils with poorly drained subsoils in these regions.

[Interestingly, the species is well established on South Bruny Island (well drained sandy soil)]

The species is poorly established on King Island despite having numerous introductions. This may be due to the high soil water tables on most parts of the island apart from the western coastline.

Bubas bison introductions

Major efforts have been made to introduce cool-climate ‘strains’ (it is thought that the first bison introductions originated from Morocco – a very hot climate!). Two sources have been used;

  1. ‘Soilcam’, J Feehan (ACT) with beetles successfully established in the Southern Highlands of NSW,
  2. ‘Aviark’, J Allen (WA) with a ‘strain’ thought to be originally from Southern France.
These efforts have focused on the Waterhouse and Levandale Districts. These two areas have been chosen because of earlier success (Waterhouse) and the dire need for an additional winter active species in the South of the State.

Projects for the Future

  1. (i) Verification of the success of the introduction of cool-climate strains of B. bison
  2. (ii) Further introductions of cool-climate B. bison
  3. (iii) Consider the introduction of Bubas bubalus and Onthophagus vacca (both from Southern France) and Copris hispanus (winter active - climatic fit suggested in the report by P Edwards)
  4. (iv) Trap for unverified releases
  5. (v) Consider the reintroduction of
    • Onitis aygulus (summer active – perhaps best suited to coastal NE and the Southern Highlands),
    • Onitis caffer (autumn active), and
    • Euoniticellus africanus (summer active)
All these reintroductions are suggested as suitable in the report by P Edwards.