Some Tennessee Poop Beetles

Today the insects were processed from the trap run. Without a microscope and references (the joy of a cross country move) I cannot identify much, but here are the highlights:

Sphaeridium lunatum

Sphaeridium lunatum

Sphaeridium lunatum is a really cool dung beetle because it is not a scarab, it is a hydrophilid. When I first started paying attention to dung beetles I caught a bunch of Sphaeridium and proceeded to run through every scarab key I could find. After a couple of weeks of frustration, I went to Boring and Too Long and got the right family – then it was easy. This species is non-native.


Othophagus hecate

Othophagus hecate

Onthophagus hecate is a very cool beetle. I love the hood scoop on the pronotum. With a microscope, the distinctive pronotal microsculpture could also be shown. This species is native and I like to think about them following the buffalo across the plains…



1geotrupesGeotrupes blackburnii is another native dung beetle. It is very large. This identification is tentative because I will need a microscope and my copy of Howdens 1964 Geotrupinae of North and Central America.

Both the Geotrupes and Sphaeridium I should probably not call dung beetles, because the are not traditionally thought of as such. The sure show up in a bunch of poop traps though.


5 thoughts on “Some Tennessee Poop Beetles

    1. biologistsoup Post author

      Dear George, hecate has a unique pronotal structure. If you resend the photo or take a good shot of the pronotum through your scope I will be able to tell you. I didn’t realize you were waiting for an identification.

  1. biologistsoup Post author

    Dear George, O. hecate 8s a pretty common poo beetle over much of North America. Al Gillogly is uncommon, but worth finding. My guess is you have hecate, Al is amazing, but Pas passalids are his thing.

  2. Pingback: There is no substitute for using the correct key | biologistsoup

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