Posts Tagged ‘Dung Beetles’

What have Dung Beetles ever done for us?

October 2, 2018

You’ve seen the various television programmes which show giant beetles wrestling and rolling serious dung balls.  Just imagine what would happen if these recyclers didn’t exist or were wiped out by chemicals.  No, perhaps better not to?  OK, those images are from abroad and show the large species but you get the idea?

Along with fungi and other useful invertebrates dung from mammals including livestock (which hasn’t been drenched with ‘medicines’ as a preventative precaution) is broken down by beetles in the Scarabaeidae family.  This family is represented in Europe by 49 genera with a total of 218 species, 89 of which occur in the British Isles.  Nineteen species are listed in “An Inventory of the Invertebrates of Thorne and Hatfield Moors” (Skidmore 2006) as occurring on Thorne and Hatfield Moors, although bearing in mind this magnus opus was published some twelve years ago the list is likely to have had new species added.

The Executive are pleased to offer places on An Introduction to Dung Beetles Wildlife Training Course with Adrian Dutton * on Friday 26 October 2018, to be held at Moorends Miners Welfare & Community Development Centre.  The purpose of these courses is to introduce local field naturalists and interested members of the public to these invertebrates in order to provide training to assist identification which in turn will contribute data to the T&HMC Forum’s data set of invertebrates.  If you are interested then please contact  Places are limited so early booking is recommended.  There is no charge but a contribution towards refreshments and a buffet lunch is requested.

Red Deer poo hrk DSCN5236 Crop

Red Deer dung a good source of nutrition for Aphodius species of dung beetles.

* Adrian can be followed on Twitter as @TBeetles where he describes himself as a ‘Beetler and entomologist’ [Nottinghamshire based] and he is also a ‘blogger’ and can be read at Trent Valley Beetles


Wildlife Training Workshops

August 26, 2018

Interested in wildlife?  Interested in recording wildlife?  Do you view arachnids as friends or foe?  Spiders are fascinating critters and can inform land managers about site condition.  They have interesting lifestyles and are worthy of closer scrutiny …. my own interest was awakened back in the last century (1999 to be precise) when I was fortunate enough to discover Yorkshire’s first ever Evarca arcuata, a delightful salticid or jumping spider, a wetland cousin of the black and white zebra spider you might find on your kitchen or bathroom tiles.  Click on the link above to see the northern most dot on the national map.  If I can find a county first then what awaits new recruits to the discipline?

What about Dung Beetles?  Do you see them as dirty or delightful?  Just imagine life without them … (maybe not … ).  They are one of many essential recyclers of nutrients be it of animal or plant material requiring attention.

Join us on Friday 28 September for An introduction to Spiders with Geoff Oxford, co-author of Britain’s Spiders A field guide

On Friday 26 October we are looking at Dung Beetles with Adrian Dutton.

For more information and to book a place (limited places) contact

Copies of the new guide will be available to purchase at a special price, microscopes will also be available to use but please bring your own hand lens if you have one and also live specimens as you will be shown how to make a spi-pot (which renders the spider motionless but not harmed).

These courses are offered free to recorders in the Humberhead Levels who feed in data to the Forum and local people and members of the public keen to gain an understanding of these invertebrates.  Nominal charge to defray cost of refreshments and light buffet lunch.

More details about the Introduction to Dung Beetles will be posted nearer the date.

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