Belongs to: beetles

Compare with: leaf beetle

Dor beetle Geotrupes stercorarius

Also known as: lousy watchman, scarab beetle

Best time to see: Apr to Oct

Key facts

Dor beetles are shiny black beetles that use animal dung to feed their young, thereby helping to recycle it

Common, found anywhere where there are grazing or browsing animals

Adults often have a colony of mites living on their undersides, which can be seen by turning them over


Black striated case with a violet sheen; clubbed antennae; broad, spurred black legs; up to 25mm


Adult beetles pair up and jointly dig tunnels below the dung and drag dung down into them

The female lays a single egg in the dung and the emerging grub eats its way through it

Strong fliers, flying around to find fresh cow-pats to exploit, normally in the evening

© Tony Gunton