Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? August 14, 2019

By Area Forester Lisa Deaton

Dung Beetles

A local farmer asked me to examine a 40-year-old stand of loblolly pines to see if they were large enough to harvest. A corn field was located in the center of the property and we noticed some very fresh deer scat along the field edge. On the way back to the truck we saw something moving on the ground. It was a dung beetle, who had also noticed the fresh deer scat. I tend to forget that we have dung beetles in Virginia, but indeed they are found worldwide:

Notice that the beetle uses its hind legs to roll the dung ball:

National Geographic also has a video of an epic battle over a dung ball:

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