Sunday, November 1, 2015


You could call me that. I am the ultimate saver of all things that might have a future use as well as thinking up ideas on how to re-purpose. This morning I met another recycler. It was the new-to-my garden dung beetle. I have seen them on nature programs but never realized that they also lived in Texas. It was an easy identification although this may have been the giveaway.

Is it really true that dung beetles bury 80% of all the cattle dung in Texas? They are certainly having a really good go at this pile of deer poop. Maybe it is just the perfect consistency following the rain. Maybe by tomorrow they will have buried all of it.

There are two beetles working at this pile, one male and one female. This is the only species in the insect kingdom where the male helps with the young. But there was no rolling going on much to my disappointment.  Just dragging a poop back to the hole they had made and disappearing below ground.

They have removed all this soft, wet soil to create a burrow. The egg will be laid in the poop which acts as an incubator. When it hatches it will eat the poop ball and eventually emerge from the ground as an adult to fly away searching for a fresh pile of poop.
The benefits of their work are outstanding and they deserve more respect for the work they perform. They aerate the soil, adding notrogen and water and remove waste on which flies would breed,

The ultimate recycler. By the end of the day all the deer poop had disappeared. Thanks for cleaning up.


  1. Wow, that is so cool! Wonder if they would clean up after my dogs? ;^)

  2. Marvelous! Hope Wizzie visits your page and sees this.

  3. How interesting. I love to see Nature at work!
    Have a wonderful week

  4. Very interesting.
    Nature is pretty amazing.

  5. You reminded me that I saw dung beetles many years ago when scooping up some animal's droppings. I haven't seen them or thought about them since, but they must be around. There is certainly enough deer poop to keep them busy. I'll have to pay more attention...

  6. It is interesting, if also a little icky, but I'm glad there are creatures to do this kind of work. I had the same thought this morning when I found ants swarming the remains of snails left behind after one of our resident raccoon was done with them.

  7. This is great, Jenny. What a fascinating look at one of our smallest clean up crews. It seems human nature to want to admire the pretty blossoms or butterflies barely stopping to acknowledge other key players in the cycle of a garden's life. I haven't seen dung beetles around here for years but I thought (and still think) they are marvelous creatures. Thanks for noticing yours and sharing them here. Wonderful post!

  8. How interesting! I don't think I've heard much about the dung beetle before. Most people think that creatures like the dung beetle and vultures and ravens are gross or creepy, but these hardworking cleaners are so vital to the earth! What would we do without all of them? Great post!