Who ate the dung beetles?

In September this year, I was walking along a forest ride in Galicia, NW Spain, looking out for insects and butterflies. I particularly like photographing these beautiful dung beetles (Trypocopris pyrenaeus var. coruscans) which are often associated with horse dung (below). The creatures responsible for depositing this lovely dung across the hills of Galicia, are…

Beetles taking off!

These beautiful dung beetles are relatively common in NW Spain, and can often be seen flying purposefully through the pine forests, like tiny green helicopters, on a mission to find a cow pat or some horse droppings. They are a variety of Dor beetle,  (Trypocopris pyrenaeus var. coruscans), similar to a couple of Dumble Dor beetles…

Beetle and mite team

Flip over one of these beautiful dung beetles – which are found in northern Spain – and more often than not you will see a bunch of tiny mites – hangers-on! – on the shiny blue underside. These hitch-hikers are called phoretic mites. Phoresy, or phoresis, is the transport of one animal via another; but for…

An iridescent dung beetle from Spain

I have written about this beetle before (1), but it is so beautiful I thought that it would be worth posting a few more photographs which I took this summer. It is a large (about an inch in old money) dor beetle, found in north-west regions of the Iberian Peninsula. It is relatively common on…