About the Author

Dan Hirschowitz


Dan developed his love for the African bush whilst growing up on a family run farm in the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands. Growing up in the bushveld he was surrounded by wildlife and finds his passion in what nature has to offer. After completing ...

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on The Intricate Life Of The Dung Beetle

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Oh Dan, I love dung beetles, they are such industrious and determined little creatures. When I was there last week, we spent ages on one game drive with Alfie watching a male trying to push a dung ball uphill with a female clinging on. Every time he reached the top, they’d all roll back down again. We were all urging him on, and cheered when he finally made it!

Hi Dan, I think this is mostly a matter of education. Ancient Egyptian would put them the 1st place. Ancient and primitive populations knew what was most important. Insects and plants are the base of the ecosystem… when a small child I read a book of Fabre, the famous French entomologist. I was so enthusiastic and thought of insects as the most important animals. Then spots, books, reviews, documentaries, all turned mostly around big five and general speaking big animals and beautiful flowers on the globe, that is what people actually liked. By us, another Scarqaeide species, the Stag beetle, is quite famous as well. Very pleased to read about these fantastic critters again!

Hi Dan, it is remarkable that there are 780 species within Southern Africa. I have seen these beetles working very hard here on the reserve rolling their ball of dung and burying it here in our garden in the reserve. Just to wait a while and see another ball rolling down the garden just to be buried again. Magnificent the strength they have and the female hangs on for dear life on the ball of dung as it rolls. Navigation skills are incredible.

Thanks for your blog Dan, highlighting the Dung Beetle. I especially found the information regarding the four types of beetles fascinating as I only knew something about the telecoprids. When not racing off to a larger animal sighting, I love looking for dung beetles in action, stopping to watch the male push its huge ball of dung, sometimes with a female clinging to the side. One of my favorite images is that of a dung beetle pushing his newly gathered prize through soft sand, but what can’t be translated via the sensor, is the effort it took for this little creature to push it ahead. Loved the accompanying photos!

Dan, nature is unique, with the dung beetles being among the most uniqued. Nature never wastes anything it is just hard to understand sometimes how things are related.

Dung Beetles are truly fascinating creatures. It’s amazing how they manage to roll these huge dung balls, huge compared to the size of their bodies. Nature is such a wonderful organization, if I can call it that, because everything relays to and is connected with everything else. A great article!

One of the highlights of my trip in September 2023 was when Ray spied a rolling brood ball and we got out to watch the rolling activity expertly explained by Keagan. It’s definitely NOT all about the ‘big five’.

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10 April, 2798
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