Wednesday, September 1, 2010

For Every Thing, There is a season

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:   Ecclesiastes 3:1 King James Bible

Meet Dewey Dung Beetle, saved from a watery "death by pool" last week by .... Madly Snapping ME!

Dung beetles occur on every continent except Antarctica
They live 3 to 5 years
One dung beetle can bury 250 times its own weight in a night.

Most of our Dung Beetles are black and shiny, this one is iridescent green and I thought he was lovely. (hubby did not)
a small 1.5 Kg pile of Elephant dung on the African savannah attracted 16 000 dung beetles of various shapes and sizes, who between them had eaten and or buried that dung completely in just two hours (remember I said everything has a purpose)

Most of you may shudder and say Yuck! but this little guy was created by God for a purpose. that is to move Dung. He/She has a Purpose in Life. We are so quick to judge by appearances, and he is just what he was meant to be. *Facts were taken from ThaiBugs


The rollers establish a pair bond. They usually meet in the dung pat. The male offers the female a giant-sized brood ball which if accepted, they roll away together, or with the female riding on the ball. During this time, other beetles often attempt to steal the ball. They find a soft place and bury the ball before mating - mostly underground. The male then leaves to find further partners. The female of this species makes a brood 'pear' or 'pears' and lays a single egg in each. She then coats the pear with an antiseptic mixture of dung, saliva and faeces to seal it in a case which hardens solid. Unusual in insects, this species exhibits the highest level of parental care seen in an insect. She stays with the ball and her grub for two months, cleaning it and removing its faeces, fungi and bacteria.

OK, so you don't feel warm and fuzzy. I just thought it is a good story about a pretty green beetle.


Picturit said...

An interesting post and nice pics, what a lovely little critter.

Judy said...

You are so right! Everything was created for a purpose.

Just remember, no matter how bad your job/life seems, at least you're not a Dung Beetle!

Beverly said...

A good lesson, Sandra. I really must get out and look for things in my yard to photograph.

I did capture (photo) of a black snake in a bush the other to think of a good post for said creature.

Ginny said...

I love everything about this, and I'm so glad you got your pictures back, because I would NOT want to miss this!! What a PERFECT example of everything, however disgusting, having a purpose here! But I do NOT find this beetle disgusting, only what he does, but that's for a good reason. He is beautiful!!! People would pay good money for a ring or some other jewelry that lovely irridescent green, yet hate it in a natural state! I have just been going back and looking and looking! I've known about these beetles and seen them roll the dung on T.V. BUT, I thought they were only in Africa, and only black! I cannot believe you've got one there!! How did you identufy it?? Do they love Jake and Baby's poop? Hey, set your camera on stop motion, I want a shot of them rolling it away!! Seriously!

Scott said...

I'm glad that you can upload photos again. This is a very interesting article. There are many extremely small bugs - not nearly as pretty as this dung beetle - that do wonderful things to our garbage to process it back into usable nutrients in the earth. Great story and photos.

George said...

I'm glad you got the upload problem fixed. You did get wonderful macros of the beetle, and I will admit that the information you shared is interesting.

From the Kitchen said...

Well, I don't feel warm and fuzzy but I do have a new appreciation of dung beetles and am especially fond of "Dewey"!!


Kilauea Poetry said...

I love those guys- thanks for the enlightening background. I was (by myself) a few years ago back in May- on my way to a Pow Wow that's held at that time of year actually. I looked down in the grass at something shiny that caught my was a beetle (I'm guessing the same) but in resin. I thought, funny- I used to catch these (mostly examine) when I was a kid back in California! It sits near a night light as its floresent cause I can never find the silly switch..

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, See what I learn by blogging??? Who would have known????? Do those beetles pick up after your dogs also????? ha ha

I like the green color too. Maybe that's just a 'girl thing'... ha ha


A Brit in Tennessee said...

He's a fine fella and I love his "green"...
I've seen this little creatures in the past, they have always fascinated me.
What an interesting post !

Mamabug said...

Loved your post on "Dewey", I like getting good bug photos! My dear hubby thinks I'm crazy but there are so many awesome little critters out there just waiting to have their photo taken. When I can't find flowers to shoot give me a good old bug anyday!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Wonderful shots Sandra but we call these Fruit Chafers here and not Dung Bettles although they do belong to the same Scarabaeidae family.

SquirrelQueen said...

Dewey is a lovely shade of green, gotta love that iridescence. I am amazed at the high level of parental care, I had no idea any insect took such good care of her young. Thanks for the info, I really enjoyed this post.

Tipper said...

fascinating-neat pics too : )