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Flightless Dung Beetle - Circellium bacchus This was taken in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa in September 2016. Addo Elephant NP,Circellium bacchus,Flightless Dung Beetle,Flightless dung beetle,Geotagged,South Africa,South Africa-2016,spring Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies intro

Flightless Dung Beetle - Circellium bacchus

This was taken in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa in September 2016.

    comments (9)

  1. Great scene, Stephen! Posted 3 years ago
    1. Thanks. They are quite interesting creatures to watch. Here the male did infact help when needed (normally the female apparently does all the work). Posted 3 years ago
      1. Really? I thought it was the other way around for dung beetles. Posted 3 years ago
        1. Apologies for the late reply. I had to google this as i was not certain and, yes you are right, its the males that push the dung roll (as in this photo) and the females that make the nest. So in my comment above I did indeed get it the wrong way round. Posted 3 years ago
          1. No worries, was confused as well, so thanks for checking! Posted 3 years ago
  2. From today's JungleDragon Facebook post:

    "The Flightless Dung Beetle (Circellium bacchus) is endemic to South Africa. It was once widespread, but now only survives in a few areas. Its vulnerability is aggravated by human activity and by the decreasing vertebrate populations that the beetles rely upon for dung production. Being flightless means that they cannot easily disperse and travel to new locations as animals in their habitat disappear. So, they rely on elephants and buffalos for survival, and as these mammal populations decrease, so do the dung beetles.

    The duty dung beetles perform is critical and priceless to the health of the environment. These unsung insect heroes recycle and remove feces, which would otherwise pile up. There are at least 6,000 species of dung beetles on Earth that are constantly attending to the planet's excrement. They bury it, disperse it, eat it, and lay their eggs in it with remarkable speed. They aerate the soil, aid in nutrient cycling, provide food sources for decomposers, and reduce the feces available to larvae of insect pests and diseases to thrive in. Without dung beetles, the world would be a crappy place! {Spotted in South Africa by JungleDragon user, Stephen Whittaker} #JungleDragon"
    Posted 2 years ago
    1. Thankyou for the info. Posted 2 years ago
  3. LOVE it! Posted 2 years ago
    1. Thanks! Posted 2 years ago

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The flightless dung beetle is a species of dung beetle endemic to a few areas of South Africa, including the Addo Elephant National Park and the Buffalo Valley Game Farm. It is the only species in the genus ''Circellium''. The loss of flight allows the beetle to use the empty space below the elytra as a carbon dioxide storage tank, creating a unique breathing mechanism which conserves water, a valuable survival trait in the arid regions it lives in.

The species was originally widespread.. more

Similar species: Beetles
Species identified by stephen whittaker
View stephen whittaker's profile

By stephen whittaker

All rights reserved
Uploaded Jun 15, 2017. Captured Sep 13, 2016 15:02 in Unnamed Road, South Africa.
  • NIKON D7200
  • f/8.0
  • 10/3200s
  • ISO160
  • 400mm