The flightless dung beetle is a species endemic to very few areas of South Africa. We are blessed to have them here at Kudu Ridge Game Lodge and the greater Addo region including Addo Elephant National Park.
This extraordinary creature was initially widespread throughout Southern Africa but its existence has become more and more vulnerable because of agriculture and human activity. They are also strictly dependent on vertebrates like elephant, buffalo and antelope to survive which is why the Addo region provides an ideal space for them to live.
Facts about the dung beetle:
- Poop Eaters: Dung beetles eat some poop or excrement from other animals. Although they do not eat excrement exclusively they are particular about the poop they eat. Most prefer feed from herbivore droppings. The fresher the better!
- Rolling Poop: When you think of a dung beetle, you probably picture a beetle pushing a ball of poop along the ground. But some dung beetles don’t bother rolling neat little dung balls at all. Instead they simply live within the dung they find rather than investing energy in moving it.
- Good Parents: They are one of the few groups of insects that exhibit parental care for their young. Child rearing responsibilities mostly fall on the mother but sometimes both parents share the care.
- Cooling Off: Around noon, when the sun is at its peak, dung beetles will routinely climb atop their dung balls to give their feet a break from the hot ground.
- trength: Dung beetles are surprisingly strong. Male dung beetles need exceptional strength, not just for pushing dung balls but also for fending off male competitors.
- Environmentally Friendly: They offer a great service to the environment. By their tunnelling they increase aeration of the soil allowing water to penetrate better. Tunnelling and dung burial also result in increased root growth and biological activity in soils with the rich dung pats.
Read more about the other wildlife at Kudu Ridge Game Lodge.