|Dung Beetles in Nottinghamshire|
|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.
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 species in Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire should have a wide range of common species. Three nationally notable (Nb) species which are 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...
A. depressus; A. luridus; A. rufipes; A. ater; A. constans; A. rufus; A. sordidus; A. fimetarius; A. pedellus; A foetens; A. foetidus; A. granarius; A.erraticus; A. merdarius; A. pusillus; A. subterraneus; A. prodromus; A. sphacelatus; A. contaminatus; A. haemorrhoidalis; A. quadrimaculatus; A. porcus; A. fossor and A. sticticus.
|Aphodius ater (De Geer, 1774)
contaminatus (Herbst, 1783)
|Clipstone Old Quarter, April 2009. Length 6mm.||Budby South Forest, September 2008. Length 6.5mm.|
distinctus (Müller, O.F., 1776)
|Sherwood Forest CP, August 2008. Length 6.5mm.||Budby South Forest, September 2008. Length 4.5mm.|
foetidus (Herbst, 1783)
|Clipstone Old Quarter, July 2008. Length 7mm.||Tug Bridge Farm, Eakring, September 2008. Length 5mm.|
fossor (Linnaeus, 1758)
granarius (Linnaeus, 1767)
|Eakring Meadows NR, August 2008. Length 12mm.||Tug Bridge Farm, near Eakring, April 2009. Length 4mm.|
haemorrhoidalis (Linnaeus, 1758)
luridus (Fabricius, 1775)
|Sherwood Forest CP, May 2009. Length 4mm.||Clipstone Old Quarter, April 2009. Length 8mm.|
paykulli (Bedel, 1907)
pedellus (De Geer, 1773)
|Budby South Forest, April 2013. Length 6mm.||Tug Bridge Farm, Eakring, August 2008. Length 7.5mm.|
prodromus (Brahm, 1790)
rufipes (Linnaeus, 1758)
|Budby South Forest, September 2008. Length 6mm.||Sherwood Forest CP, July 2008. Length 9mm.|
sphacelatus (Panzer, 1798)
|Sherwood Forest CP, July 2008. Length 5mm.||Nettleworth Manor March 2009. Length 5.5mm.|
|Clipstone Old Quarter May 2013. Length 5.0mm.|