Earth-Boring Scarab Beetle (Bolbocerasoma sp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Earth-Boring Scarab Beetle.
Updated: 7/9/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Earth-Boring Scarab Beetles are important environmental cleaners and take nutrients through a critical part of the cycle.
Round and domed Earth-Boring Scarabs are small, tank-like beetles with disc-shaped orange extensions on their antennae. The head is black, but the rest of the body is orange and black. Thick black bands mark the top, sides and center of the elytra (wing coverings), while a black patch near the head is studded with horn-like bumps. Orange and black legs are covered in short, fine hairs.
As their name suggests, Earth-Boring Scarab Beetles dig into the ground, sometimes up to 2-3 meters (6-9 feet) deep. An egg is laid at the end of each long tunnel and food is left there for the growing grub. Larval food sources include fungi, dung, compost and decaying plant material. Once hatched, the beetle grub will eat its food stash, crawl its way up the tunnel to the surface, and pupate into its winged adult form.
Adults also eat dung, hummus and rotting plant matter. They are commonly found in compost heaps and on (or in) manure piles. While the Earth-Boring Scarab Beetle's diet seems somewhat unsavory to people, the consumption of the material's nutrients helps valuable resources to return to the food web. It provides a natural way to recycle and reuse minerals and vitamins quickly.