About the Author

Josh Attenborough


Born into a family passionate about wildlife Josh knew from a very young age that he wanted to work in the African bush. He was fortunate enough to spend his school holidays going on annual family trips to the same two destinations – ...

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on Where are the Dung Beetles?

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Hi there, Josh. What an interesting and informative article you have written here re the all important little Garbage Disposer in the Bush! I think your theories all have great merit. Perhaps it is more than one of them that are working together to make the lives of the little Dung Beetles a bit more difficult to work in! Thanks again. Wendy M

Hi Josh how interesting and intriguing is the ecological behaviour of dung beetles! Looking forward to reading what you find out next

Cool subject “all lives matter”

Master Tracker

Wonderful things, they are so worthwhile to stop and watch . Africa also has an abundance of smaller fascinating creatures as well as stars such as leopard , rhino and elephant

Fun fact: The ancient Egyptians saw the dung beetle (scarab) rolling his dung ball as a representation of the sun god moving the sun across the sky.

Just from a viewers perspective, I believe a combination of the rains, the ball not holding together and the lack of the sun. All of the reasons!

Josh, a great read. It makes one realize just how nature adapts far better to accommodate the changing weather patterns. I’m sure they will be back as soon as the light is right and the soil just perfect for rolling those dung balls 😉😁💕

These dungbeetle are really fascinating creatures. I admire the perfectly shaped dungballs they roll. Just amazing. Sometimes it seems that such a ball is just too heavy to be moved forward by such a small animal. Nature is just incredibly complex and amazing.
Wonderful pictures!

I want to commend you and your tracker for being so observant about the dung beetles. The beautiful rain that you got in abundance, kept them from working. Good story and foto’s.

Thanks Josh! Great research and we agree with your theories!

Hi, thanks for the blog on the Dung Beetles. When many on safari tend to focus on the Big 5, there are so many other wonders all around. I feel they do not get the admiration and respect they deserve. Thanks for the spot light on these hard workers. Cheers!

This is a awesome blog! I definitely learned something new today. I always thought they just roll the dung to a spot where they are tired. They are actually so smart. Thanks for the awesome blog.

Thanks for highlighting the little acrobat that rolls a dung ball for a specific reason, not for fun. I’ve loved watching these insects form their sphere, taking care that there’s space for breeding and eventually the hatching of little beetles, and then take to the sandy path. With all the rain you’ve had, I can understand that the beetles would struggle to build their dung ball, let alone move it through the mud. I think your theories are sound and hopefully with dry days ahead, the roads/paths will once again become the motorways for the rested dung beetles.

Great post on the oft unappreciated dung beetle Josh. Please do keep us posted as to what you observe and if you are able to ground your suppositions. Fascinating!!

Hello Paul! Thank you for showing interest. We have seen an increase in dung beetle activity since things have dried out but not nearly as much as in the past. We’ll have to wait and see for a bit longer. Maybe there will be more activity nearer the winter months?


Hi Josh, interestingly the reserve roads in northern Zululand the week after your article was written, were teeming with busy beetles. The sun had begun to dry things up after the storms. I would be interested to know if they have emerged at Londolozi since?

Hi Eloise. There certainly has been an increase in dung beetle activity since the rains have slowed down but definitely not as much as normal. Perhaps they are still waiting underground or have moved to drier parts… Thank you for your comment.

That is quite intriguing – they are such an interesting species.

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10 April, 2798
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