About the Author

Kate Arthur

Contributor

After a few years of working in the world of economic consulting, Kate’s love of adventure, wilderness and sense of curiosity led her to move away from the city and join the Londolozi guiding team. It was amidst her years of studying politics, ...

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26 Comments

on ‘Tis the Season of Dung Beetles

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Gawie Jordaan
Digital Tracker

Fascinating little creatures & interesting Blog. I recall one of these guys flying into me while on an open vehicle. He was in a big hurry to get to the next heap!

Anita Santoro
Senior Digital Ranger

They FLY too?! Ew! Ha!

Kate Arthur
Contributor

They are indeed Gawie! Equalizer and I (my tracker) have both had this happen to us a few times.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

These little beetles are amazing and I’ve found myself a few times, just watching these creatures push a dung ball more than ten times their size. Even more interesting, is sometimes another beetle is along for a free ride perhaps back to the homestead. It proves that whilst out walking or driving, always look down as well as out and up!

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Exactly Denise! This time of year is always a great reminder for us to appreciate and focus on some of the smaller creatures as you can miss out on so much.

At the end of September, Ray and Keagan found a ‘rolling’ brood ball with the momma perched and dad doing the rolling work. It is one of my most favorite sightings!

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Hello Elizabeth, that is awesome! We are seeing many of them at this time of year still and I am sure they will be around doing what you witnessed until the end of our summer months.

Jim Davis
Explorer

Great photography to go along with narrative

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Thank you very much Jim.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Thanks for this interesting blog. It’s amazing that there can always something new and totally fascinating be learned about animals. No wonder did the old Egyptians revere these Beatles as they are ecologically so important

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Thank you Christa! I agree – it was so interesting to learn more about Marcus Byrne’s research and literature and be reminded why these creatures are so important in this environment.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hi Kate, dung beetles are among my favourite insects, as they are as you wrote intelligent, useful and funny, as well as nice-looking like most coleopters. They were revered by ancient Aegyptians for the reason you described, the way they orientate themselves through planets and sunlight. Thank you for this lovely blog and for drawing people’s attention to some of the most numerous animals on earth, insects.

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Hi Francesca, very well put and thank you very much!

Michael Kalm
Guest contributor

Hey Sisyphus! Eat your heart out!

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Kate, thanks for this fascinating set of pictures and your commentary. The dung beetles are truly interesting and very useful creatures.

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Thanks William!

Anita Santoro
Senior Digital Ranger

It’s amazing to me how perfectly round they get the balls!

Kate Arthur
Contributor

I agree Anita they are perfect circles!

Carolyn Clarkson
Explorer

These were fascinating details on the dung beetle! They have great focus for their task in life and I admire their dedication. I doubt I will ever get to Africa to observe them personally, but I love to watch them on video. Thanks for posting.

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Thank you very much Carolyn.

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

We have dung beetles here where we reside in Kranspoort. Quite a few times we have seen them rolling their ball and a few timed we have had a ball of dung in our driveway. Then my husband picks the ball up and goes and puts it in the ground and covers it up. They are hard workers and are very intetesting little creatures.

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Thanks for sharing Valmai!

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

These are such amazing little creatures Kate! I absolutley loved The Tenacity of the Dung Beetle Meditation during the pandemic, and it gave me a tremendous appreciation for them in a way I hadn’t previously experienced!!

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Thank you very much Paul!

Kara Taylor
Master Tracker

I think they are so fascinating in all of their little antics. Very interesting to learn of their orientation skills. Like one of the other comments I was “bonked”in the head by one flying about as well (I prefer them on the ground – ha!)

Kate Arthur
Contributor

Thank you Kara, I am glad you enjoyed this blog.

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