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First Dung Beetles Make An Appearance

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Sustainable Industries

Our dung beetle trapping and gapping project hit its first milestone a couple of weeks ago with the first samples coming through. Kicking off the autumn trapping season, a mixed farming operation at Jennacubine saw the appearance of two beetle species.

Let’s See Who’s Made An Appearance

The first two Wheatbelt species to be recorded as part of this project are Onitis aygulus and Euoniticellus pallipes. Interestingly, both samples were female.

Onitis aygulus are dark brown with a distinctive coppery green sheen. This beetle is quite widespread across Australia and, while they are most active between spring and autumn, they don’t favour very hot and dry summers. It will be interesting to find out why they have made an appearance so soon after a long dry spell.

 

Euoniticellus pallipes are characterised by their light brown colour with a ‘speckling’ over their pronotum and wing areas. They have been found in the Wheatbelt previously, as well as throughout other Western Australian agricultural areas.

Looking Forward To More Samples Coming In

With our first samples locked away, we’re looking forward to seeing more beetles come through the door.

Program Manager, Felicity Gilbert, says, “It was very exciting to have our first samples come back so quickly after distributing the trapping kits.”

“We have a very enthusiastic group of citizen scientists participating in this project and we can’t wait to see what other species are identified in the autumn trapping season”.

Now Available - New Dung Beetle Resource

As part of the project, a Go-To Guide has been produced for anyone wishing to undertake their own, on-ground trapping and gapping project. The guide outlines the equipment and method for preparing traps as well as an identification guide of the most common beetles found in the Wheatbelt.

The guide can be found on our Knowledge Hub.

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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