Onthophagus binodis (introduced)

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A front on and profile photo of a female, black dung beetle. Labels read: Onthophagus binodis (female), pronotum has a rounded hump, two prominent ridges on the head  matt black pronotum and elytra,  rounded hump on pronotum, two prominent ridges on the head A front on and profile photo of a male, black dung beetle. Labels read: Onthophagus binodis (male), pronotum has a prominent hump with two lobes in major males, square in minor males, front of clypeus is reflexed,  two lobes, very distinct in major males, pronotum and elytra are a matt black, front of clypeus is reflexed in major males

Size

11–13 mm

Colour

Matt black

Characteristics

Males have a large hump between their shoulders. This is slightly smaller in females.

Flight time

During the day

Active seasons

Late spring to autumn

Distribution in Australia

Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, southeast Queensland

Map of australia showing O binodis in south west WA, southern SA, Vic and eastern NSW and north eastern Tasmania

Origin

South Africa

Similar species

Female O. taurus are similar to female O. binodis, but O. taurus females are shinier and the front of the pronotum is rounded.

South West Prime Lamb Group (SWPLG) demonstrations

O. binodis has been trapped on SWPLG properties at Narrawong, Cashmore, Heywood and Hamilton, mostly in summer.

Lifecycle

O binodis has two generations a year. They build nests around 20 cm beneath dung pads with several dung masses, each with one egg. Development from an egg to adult takes 4–6 weeks. Within a week of emergence in spring, dung is buried and beetles begin breeding. Young beetles emerge December to March and then commence feeding with extensive dung shredding. Dung burial and egg laying of the next generation occurs in February to March. Adults will overwinter in soil and can emerge and start breeding as temperatures rise.

Dung burial

Dung is buried to around 20 cm prior to breeding and is also shredded as adults feed.

Establishment of O. binodis

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

Acknowledgments and references

Page last updated: 03 Feb 2023