Dung beetles! Members of the honourable subfamily Scarabinaeiae! Where would we be without them? In a far less fertile world for sure. These useful insects in the order Coleoptera, family Scarabeidae are Humpback dung beetles (Deltochilum gibbosum) and they are busy transporting a ball of shaped dung that represents the family nursery.
Why are they useful? They help fertilize the soil by moving nutrients from the surface, which they collect in the form of a ball of mammal dung and place it under the ground where it can feed the microscopic soil fauna and flora and plants’ roots.
I filmed these on a roll with their very hairy dung ball in a peaceful patch of mesic (moist) bottomland hardwood forest near Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, in Monroe, northeastern Louisiana.
The film includes several clumps of faeces from White-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginiana that sport outgrowths of fungal fruiting bodies.