Comparison of Chemical Attractants Against Dung Beetles and Application for Rangeland and Animal Health

Author(s): J. A. Goolsby, N. K. Singh, D. B. Thomas, A. Ortega-S. Jr, D. G. Hewitt, T. A. Campbell, and A. Pérez de León
Published: June 2017

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Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) play a major role in nutrient cycling, soil aeration, and biological control of pests and parasites that breed in manure. Habitat fragmentation, pesticide usage, and conventional agricultural practices threaten dung beetle diversity, and their conservation is of growing concern. This study from August to October 2016 on the East Foundation, Santa Rosa Ranch, Kenedy County, TX investigated the comparative effectiveness of three chemical attractants, viz., screwworm lure, volatile fatty acids, and citronella oil to attract dung beetles. The screwworm lure attracted large numbers of beetles, but the other two attractants were not attractive to dung beetles. Morphological identification of 16 adult specimens confirmed Phanaeus vindex MacLeay, family Scarabaeidae (eight); Canthon pilularius L., family Scarabaeidae (five); and Nicrophorus carolinus L., family Silphidae (three), indicating the dung beetles were very attracted. Screwworm lure might be used to efficiently attract large numbers of dung beetles for relocation to areas where the species have been impacted.

Suggested Citation

Goolsby, J.A., N.K. Singh, D.B. Thomas, A. Ortega-S. Jr, D.G. Hewitt, T.A. Campbell, and A. Pérez de León. 2017. Comparison of chemical attractants against dung beetles and application for rangeland and animal health. Southwestern Entomologist 42(2): 339-346.

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