Aphodius fimetarius

Location: Calgary, AB
Date: April 21, 2014

      Photo 1

Common Name: European Dung Beetle

Latin Name:  Aphodius fimetarius Linnaeus, 1758
                        (R. Bercha, det., confirmed by Dr. K. Floate)

Length:  6.0 - 9.0 mm

Range: Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Near Dung

Time of year seen:  Spring to Fall (Additional Sightings)

Diet: Organic matter, roots and dung

Other:  The Dung Beetle Aphodius fimetarius is an imported species from Europe.  The species is well established and is widespread in North America.  It is a generalist surface dung feeder which prefers cattle dung found in open pastures.  However, it is not overly picky and will feed on other types of dung, with the exception of deer which is rarely consumed.  Dung Beetles such as A. fimetarius are a integral part of pasture ecosystems as they accelerate the break down and conversion of dung back into soil.  Adults are most active in the spring (mid-March to mid-May) and fall (mid-August to Mid-October).  The beetles over winter as adults and emerge in the spring to lay eggs in dung with the subsequent generation of adults emerging in the fall. (Floate et al, 1998 and Gordon, 1983)


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