Monday, February 15, 2010

Need dung? Go to the source.

Canthon aff. quadriguttatus (still not sure what the aff. is...) is a fairly plain looking dung beetle. It has a little color to it, but otherwise it is unremarkable.

Until you learn about its behavior. It turns out that this is one of the dung beetles which has cut the search for dung out of its life history and gone directly to the source. For this species, that means hanging out around these guys.

Specifically, right around here:

If this seems peculiar, consider that in India a related species of dung beetle does the same thing to humans. And... it doesn't always wait for the resource to make its exit. Even stranger may be Zonocopris gibbicollis, a dung beetle which plays the same trick on giant land snails.

Original papers and pictures from:

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