Watching Tumblebugs gather animal dung into balls and whimsically roll them away can be entertaining for people at any age.
Tumblebugs are a type of Dung Beetle. Adults are often spotted rolling balls of dung larger than themselves across the ground to an underground burrow. Their efforts to move the balls are admirable, though sometimes clumsy in appearance. Females may ride on top on one, helping to roll it with her legs, while males push from below. Once the ball is underground, the female lays a fertilized egg onto the round heap (called a brood ball), which provides the larva with food after it hatches. Other dung balls are rolled and collected as food and consumed by adults.
Tumblebugs are black and have strong legs. Some glossy, some are matte. Some species are smooth and others have dimpled texture on them. All of them are resourceful, making good use of what is typically considered waste.
Scientific Name: Canthon spp.
Other Name(s): Dung Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 19mm (0.43in to 0.74in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.