The Dung Beetle
The working citrus farm on the property is called "Miskruier" (Afrikaans for Dung Beetle), and it was deliberately named so by Mr. HHJ Potgieter, when he bought the property 12 years ago. We wanted to create a bigger awareness about the Addo Dung Beetle in our area. We had an enclosure and tried to breed them for reintroduction into some areas where they occurred. This became a massive, daunting task which we were up for, and not even the smelly dung could stop us. In the end we released the last group into our 140 ha succulent valley Bushveld area. Might not breed with them but still visit Garden clubs/Technicons and schools for Dung Beetle awareness via Powerpoint Presentation.
The Beetle is…
- 22 – 47 mm long
- amongst the largest dung beetles in Africa
- flightless (no wings)
- they favour elephant dung
Because of its once widespread but now localised distribution, this specific dung beetle is understood to be endangered. Both male and female beetles roll food balls, but only the female construct brood balls. The males always follow the female and they are never far behind. This behaviour has not been documented in any other ball rolling species.