Coprophagous Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) in Uruguayan Prairies: Abundance, Diversity and Seasonal Occurrence

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2002
Authors:E. Morelli, Gonzalez-Vainer, P., Baz, A.
Journal:Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment
Pagination:53 - 57
ISBN Number:0165-0521 %[ August 15,
Keywords:Dung beetles, ecological function, ecosystem service, pasture, prarie

Dung beetles have been studied for a two year period (January 1992–April 1994). Monthly samples were taken by directly examining 480 bovine and 330 ovine feces. A grand total of 1846 individuals of 12 different species was obtained. The most abundant species were Onthophagus hirculus Mannerheim, 1829 and Canthidium breve (Germar, 1824). However, density values were extremely low and seasonal activity was restricted to a short period. Maximum density in both bovine and ovine droppings was found in November 1993 (8.55 and 8.87 individuals/dung respectively), whereas mean density was 2.57 ind./dung in cattle dung and 1.53 ind./dung in sheep droppings. These density values suggest that populations of native dung beetles in these pastures cannot adequately remove the tons of livestock feces deposited daily throughout the country.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith