Aphodius Dung Beetles in Nottinghamshire
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Dung Beetles are a large and well known group of beetles belonging to the Scarabaeidae family, a group which includes the well known Cockchafer. Whilst the Cockchafer is a large, chestnut brown species, the Aphodius Dung Beetles are much smaller and in many cases, a great deal more colourful. Like their common name implies, they frequent cattle and horse dung and where this is found, so too are Dung Beetles.

As with many beetles, the Aphodius group are quite difficult to identify to species level (particularly at first) but the medium that they are found in, is probably the most off-putting from many naturalists point of view.

This page shows the Aphodius species which we have so far encountered at Penny Pasture Common and Tug Bridge Farm at Eakring, at Hills and Holes SSSI at Market Warsop and at Sherwood Forest.

 
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Dung Beetles play an important role in assisting the decomposition of cattle and horse dung, perhaps reducing the actual decomposition time by 50%. Studies have shown that different Aphodius species enter dung at different times or stages in decomposition. Our own searches at the sites mentioned above, suggest that the first to arrive, do so after about 24 hours, seemingly entering the dung from underneath. Throughout the year, a variety of Aphodius species can be found in dung, but only those species which we have found since July 2008 are depicted here.

Aphodius Dung Beetles in Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire currently has a wide ranging list of the (typically) commoner Aphodius species, but there remains plenty of scope for several new additions. Three nationally notable (Nb) Aphodius known to occur in Nottinghamshire are Aphodius distinctus, Aphodius paykulli and Aphodius porcus. Historically, Carr's book 'The Invertebrate Fauna of Nottinghamshire' lists the following species.

Species shown with a red asterisk, are believed known from historical records only

     
APHODIUS Hellwig, 1798
Aphodius ater (De Geer, 1774)
Aphodius borealis (Gyllenhal, 1827)
Aphodius constans (Duftschmid, 1805) *
Aphodius contaminatus (Herbst, 1783)
Aphodius depressus (Kugelann, 1792)
Aphodius distinctus (Müller, O.F., 1776)
Aphodius erraticus (Linnaeus, 1758) *
Aphodius fimetarius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Aphodius foetens (Fabricius, 1787)
Aphodius foetidus (Herbst, 1783)
Aphodius fossor (Linnaeus, 1758)
Aphodius granarius (Linnaeus, 1767)
Aphodius haemorrhoidalis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Aphodius luridus (Linnaeus, 1775)
Aphodius merdarius (Fabricius, 1775) *
Aphodius paykulli (Bedel, 1907)
Aphodius pedellus (De Geer, 1773)
Aphodius plagiatus
Aphodius porcus (Fabricius, 1792) *
Aphodius prodromus (Brahm, 1790)
Aphodius pusillus (Herbst, 1789) *
Aphodius rufipes (Linnaeus, 1758)
Aphodius rufus (Moll, 1782)
Aphodius sphacelatus (Panzer, 1798)
Aphodius sticticus (Panzer, 1798)
Aphodius subterraneus (Linnaeus, 1758) *
 
 
Aphodius ater (De Geer, 1774)
  Aphodius contaminatus (Herbst, 1783)
Clipstone Old Quarter, April 2009. Length 6mm.   Budby South Forest, September 2008. Length 6.5mm.
 
     
     
Aphodius depressus (Kugelann, 1792)
  Aphodius distinctus (Müller, O.F., 1776)
Sherwood Forest CP, August 2008. Length 6.5mm.   Budby South Forest, September 2008. Length 4.5mm.
 
     
     
Aphodius foetens (Fabricius, 1787)
  Aphodius foetidus (Herbst, 1783)
Clipstone Old Quarter, July 2008. Length 7mm.   Tug Bridge Farm, Eakring, September 2008. Length 5mm.
 
     
     
Aphodius fossor (Linnaeus, 1758)
  Aphodius granarius (Linnaeus, 1767)
Eakring Meadows NR, August 2008. Length 12mm.   Tug Bridge Farm, near Eakring, April 2009. Length 4mm.
 
     
     
Aphodius haemorrhoidalis (Linnaeus, 1758)
  Aphodius luridus (Fabricius, 1775)
Sherwood Forest CP, May 2009. Length 4mm.   Clipstone Old Quarter, April 2009. Length 8mm.
 
     
     
Aphodius paykulli (Bedel, 1907)
  Aphodius pedellus (De Geer, 1773)
Budby South Forest, April 2013. Length 6mm.   Tug Bridge Farm, Eakring, August 2008. Length 7.5mm.
 
     
     
Aphodius prodromus (Brahm, 1790)
  Aphodius rufipes (Linnaeus, 1758)
Budby South Forest, September 2008. Length 6mm.   Sherwood Forest CP, July 2008. Length 9mm.
 
     
     
Aphodius rufus (Moll, 1782)
  Aphodius sphacelatus (Panzer, 1798)
Sherwood Forest CP, July 2008. Length 5mm.   Nettleworth Manor March 2009. Length 5.5mm.
 
     
     
Aphodius sticticus (Panzer, 1798)
   
Clipstone Old Quarter May 2013. Length 5.0mm.    
   
     
 
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