Facts on the Dung Beetle for Kids

Updated April 17, 2017

Bugs are fascinating for most kids. Beetles especially since there are so many varieties and can be found almost everywhere. The dung beetle, also known as the scarab beetle or tumble bug, is a popular insect and is easy recognisable by kids. Facts about insects can be interesting to both adults and kids. These facts can be even more interesting when kids can actually find the insects while exploring outside.


Dung beetles live on every continent in the world except Antarctica. They also live in every climate except the tundra and the desert. You can find dung beetles wherever there is animal faeces. Some species of dung beetles will live in the faeces, moving around to new faeces when necessary. Other species will make dung balls and will roll the balls to locations where they can bury the balls underground to make a burrow .


Dung beetles are either rollers, tunnelers or dwellers. Each dung beetle falls into one of these categories. Rollers are the dung beetles that roll lumps of dung into balls and bury them to make their home; they also use the dung for their food. Tunnelers dig tunnels underneath piles of dung. They then pull the dung down into the tunnel. They often dig more than one tunnel. The female does most of the digging while the male drags the dung down into the tunnels. Dwellers simply live in piles of dung. Each species lays their eggs in the location in which they make their home.

Other Facts

Dung beetles eat animal dung and do not need to eat or drink anything else during their lifetime. They live approximately three years. There are more than 5,000 species of dung beetles. They can be between 3 and 50 millimetres long. Dung beetles have an extremely strong sense of smell which helps them locate dung. All dung beetles are strong, with the biggest ones being able to lift up to 50 times their weight.

Benefits of Dung Beetles

Dung beetles are actually very useful and are considered to be earth-friendly. Dung beetles help decompose the world's dung. Without dung beetles, there would be large amounts of dung and with it, large amount of flies. When dung beetles drag the dung under the ground, they are actually helping to fertilise the earth. The value of the dung beetle is highly recognised for it usefulness in many African and Egyptian cultures.

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