Onitis aygulus (introduced)

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front on and profile photos of a green/copper dung beetle. Labels Read: -Onitis aygulus (male) -the clypeal ridge is closer to the front of the head than to the frontal ridge. (compare to the similar species O. alexis)   -Frontal ridge -Clypeal ridge -brown pronotum, often with a green sheen - brown wing coverings (elytra), often with a green sheen - (inset) male has a pincer like double spur on therear femur. The female has a smooth rear femurFront on and profile photo of a greenish copper dung beetle. Labels read: Onitis aygulus (female) Frontal ridge Clypeal ridge prominent tubercle (bump) behind the frontal ridge the clypeal ridge is closer to the front of the head than to the frontal ridge. pronotum showing green sheen with brown margins brown wing coverings (elytra), often with a green sheen tubercle

Size

20–25 mm

Colour

A two-toned beetle. Pronotum is dark brown with a copper or green sheen, and wing covers are a lighter brown.

Horns

Females have a small bump on the back of their head.

Active seasons

Spring to autumn

Flight time

Dusk and dawn

Distribution in Australia

Found in Western Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and southern Western Australia.

Map of Australia showing known distribution of O aygulus in southern WA, SA, SW Vic, NSW, SE Qld and Nth Qld

Similar species

Onitis alexis is similar but smaller on average (13–20 mm), and males have a single spur on hind legs compared to the double spur in O. aygulus.

South West Prime Lamb Group (SWPLG) demonstrations

O. aygulus have been trapped at Cashmore and Hamilton in low numbers.

Lifecycle

O. aygulus buries its nest to a depth of 16 cm, comprising of brood ‘sausages’ each with up to eight eggs.

Dung burial

5–16 cm deep

Establishment of O. aygulus

Beetles can be introduced as starter colonies. A link to suppliers can be found below.

Acknowledgments and references

Page last updated: 03 Feb 2023