Friday, 2 December 2011

Just waiting!

A trip to Mt Baldy, near Atherton, Queensland provided a good look at some native dung beetles. This is a 2-spiked male. It is apparently Onthophagus pillara Matthews.
This male above is displaying the antennae which are capable of picking up the scent of fresh dung. The dung they are looking for is that from native mammals, probably marsupials. They are in the right place as Mt Baldy is renown for its possums, gliders, tree kangaroos and native rodents. Or is he on the look-out for females?

The modes of the entomologist often provide encounters like this with dung beetles but one seldom thinks to look skyward for the possums and gliders that are feeding in the trees above.

Thanks to Tom Weir for suggesting the species' name.

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