Photo below ~ Not just because of women, it’s not unusual to fight over a dung ball!
Onthophagus taurus – or the dung beetle – may, despite their relatively small size (half an inch), look fearsome with their horns (only the males), but they are not dangerous to people. The males use their striking horns to fight for females. Not all males have horns though.
Dung beetles roll and bury a dung ball either for food or for using to contain eggs. Sometimes the male and female roll the balls together, to a place underground where they live and breed. The eggs hatch out into larvae which then eat their way out of the dung ball.
I was fortunate to buy a 1st edition of The Sacred Beetle and Others by J H Fabre, 1918. The author, a French entomologist (December 22, 1823 – October 11, 1915) “lived beetles” – he passionately studied them and in doing so uncovered certain truths about them; one being that the babies were NOT rolled whilst inside the dung ball; another that the dung beetles in fact stole one anothers carefully rolled balls. It is such a pleasure reading this book, you sense the love that Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre had for insects, and his acute honest observation of them. Fabre was a wonderful teacher because of this.
Others again have reproached me with my style, which has not the solemnity, nay, better, the dryness of the schools. ~ J K Fabre
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