Copris hispanus Jan Botha

DUNG BEETLE SPECIES

 

 

 

Image by: Jan Botha

 

Copris hispanus

 

Copris hispanus

(Length 16-26mm)

Identifying features

Copris hispanus is a large deep tunnelling dung beetle (16 – 26mm) that is active from autumn to late spring. The male is unmistakeable with a large curved horn on the head. The front of the male’s pronotum is concave with a pronounced ridge at the top. The female has a smaller horn and her pronotum is less concaved.

 

Distribution

Copris hispanus is native to Mediterranean areas of Europe and north Africa. It is considered suitable for winter rainfall regions. C. hispanus were introduced to W.A. decades ago but there has been limited dispersal from the original release in the Williams area. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has attempted to establish the species in an area north of Perth, with unknown results. Manjimup cattle producer, Doug Pow, has sourced a small colony of Copris hispanus and held them in a breeding nursery prior to release on the farm. Further efforts will be attempted to increase population density in the area.

Additional Information

Copris hispanus is a ‘brood caring’ dung beetle where the female remains with the four-six brood balls that can be 40cm below the surface. Each brood ball contains a single egg which is laid in the spring – the female remains with the nest until the offspring emerge the following autumn.

 

 

 

5 Newly emerged adult

5 Newly emerged adult

7 C. hispanus male and female - Copy

7 C. hispanus male and female - Copy

6 C. hispanus pair

6 C. hispanus pair

1 C. hispanus brood ball

1 C. hispanus brood ball

10 C hispanus

10 C hispanus

9 Copris hispanus

9 Copris hispanus

8 Admiring C. hispanus

8 Admiring C. hispanus

11 Copris hispanus collection

11 Copris hispanus collection

12 Copris handful

12 Copris handful

4 Opening brood ball

4 Opening brood ball

2 Breaking open brood ball

2 Breaking open brood ball

3 Hard external walls

3 Hard external walls

17 C hisapnus retrieved 27 March 2016

17 C hisapnus retrieved 27 March 2016

15 Copris hispanus 14 Dec 2106

15 Copris hispanus 14 Dec 2106

16 Activity 13th May 2016

16 Activity 13th May 2016

14 Copris evidence

14 Copris evidence

13 tunnels

13 tunnels

18Thumb sized hole

18Thumb sized hole

19 C hispanus manmade brood ball

19 C hispanus manmade brood ball

20 Callow C hispanus

20 Callow C hispanus

Warren Catchments Council | 52 Bath St, Manjimup WA 6258 | Tel: (08) 9771 8180 | info@warrencc.org.au

 
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