NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE
State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Acrossus luridus (Fabricius, 1775)

Synonym
  • Scarabaeus luridus Fabricius, 1775
  • Acrossus pellidus Schmidt, 1916
  • Acrossus rufipes (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Aphodius rufitarsis Latreille, 1807
  • Scarabaeus arator Herbst, 1783
Vernacular Name
Night-flying Dung Beetle
Images
Conservation status
No status defined
Value of species
Remarks
Detail
The outer body ranges from dark brown to black, while the legs are black with a red tinge. At 9–13 millimetres (0.35–0.51 in) in size, it is one of the largest of the genus Aphodius. It has ten ridges on each of its wing-covers (called elytra). It has a shovel-shaped head which it used to move the earth when it burrows. This species feeds and breeds in various types of dung, and in the British Isles it is usually seen between the months of April and October. The beetle is particularly sensitive to light. During the daytime hours or under artificial light, it instinctively burrows into the nearest moist soil or preferably fresh dung. From at least 4 centimetres (1.6 in) underneath the soil it is able to sense that night has fallen, since it soon emerges from the soil when all light is extinguished, and prepares for its night-time flight in search of mates or new sources of food. The beetle has a symbiotic relationship with at least one species of mite, which is able to latch-on to the beetle's body beneath its hard shell, and remain securely attached when the beetle is burrowing or flying. The beetle thus provides the mites with safety and transport, while the mites are known to feed on mould in the dung, that would otherwise cause the beetle's source of food to decompose.
Book reference
  • Król Ż. Fauna koleopterologiczna Janowa pod Lwowem // Sprawozdanie Komisyi Fizyjograficznej. – Kraków, 1877. – 11. – S.33-63.
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Experts

Taxonomic branch

Biota
Eukaryota
Animalia
Eumetazoa
Arthropoda
Hexapoda
Insecta
Coleoptera
Aphodiidae