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 underground burrow. The effort to move the balls is sincere, though sometimes clumsy in appearance. Females may ride on top, helping roll them, while males push from below. Once the ball is underground, the female will lay a fertilized egg onto the round heap (called a brood ball), which will provide the larvae with food after it hatches. Other balls are rolled and collected as food, which will be consumed by adults.
Scientific Name: Canthon spp.
Other Name(s): Dung Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 19mm (0.43in to 0.74in)
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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.