Belongs to: beetles

Compare with: bloody-nosed leaf beetle

Dor beetle Geotrupes stercorarius

Also known as: lousy watchman, scarab beetle


Best time to see: Apr to Oct

Key facts

Shiny black beetles that use animal dung to feed their young, thereby helping to recycle it back into the soil

Common, found anywhere where there are grazing or browsing animals

Recognition

Black striated case with a violet sheen; clubbed antennae; broad, spurred black legs; up to 25mm

Adults often have a colony of mites living on their undersides, which can be seen by turning them over

Strong fliers, flying around to find fresh cow-pats to exploit, normally in the evening

Lifecycle

Adult beetles pair up and jointly dig tunnels below the dung and drag dung down into them

The female lays a single egg in the dung and the emerging grub eats its way through it

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton