CompostInsectsSoil BiologySoil CompositionSoil ConservationSoil RehabilitationStructure

Dung Beetles – The Underground Army Enriching the Soil

This video gives an overview of the benefits of establishing and managing dung beetles. Dung beetles are fascinating insects, working tirelessly to bury dung around the country.

One cow per day produces approximately 18kg of dung. These beetles process the dung by burying it deep into the soil and helping the plant roots to access them directly. In a way they are also providing food for the earth worms.

When a cow drops dung, a beetle flies into it and others soon follow. They pair-up and dig tunnels. They line the tunnel with dung and the female beetle lays her eggs. After laying eggs they abandon the tunnel and fly off in different directions. Next they go to a new dung dropping, find another mate and the cycle continues.

They not only improve soil structure, but also improve soil biology and soil fertility. Small beetles only burrow 2-3 inches deep while the larger species dig as deep as 1-3 foot. They line the tunnel walls with dung and also make dung balls that improve the quality of the soil structure. The tunnels also allow water to flow through and thereby increasing the soil porosity and water retention.

Ravindra Krishnamurthy

Ravindra Krishnamurthy is a freelance science writer covering science, tech, the environment, health, food, and culture.

6 Comments

  1. We dont have animals in our FF , so no dung but I saw Dung Beetles collecting Boletus Edulis Mushroom also known as Porcino and taking that down to their burrows.

  2. It is a wonderful video. I am also try to develop this beetle in my farm. I need more information for south India (Tamil Nadu)

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