Onthophagus binodis is a small matt black beetle (11 – 13mm) with a prominent lobe in the front of the male’s pronotum. The lobe is less pronounced in females which can cause confusion with female O. taurus (shinier with a more rounded thorax).
Onthophagus binodis is native to South Africa. Since its release in the early days of the dung beetle programme, it has become widespread throughout southern Australia.
Onthophagus binodis are active from late spring to autumn and has two generations a year. Nests are constructed approximately 20cm beneath the dung pad and comprise several dung masses with one egg in each. Development from egg to adult takes 4 to 6 weeks. Dung is buried in spring and within a week of emergence, beetles are breeding. Beetles then emerge from brood masses in December to March, and the young adults commence feeding – extensive shedding of dung can be seen. Dung burial and oviposition of the next generation occurs in February – March. A smaller percentage of dung is buried than in spring. Egg production on dry summer annual pasture is 7% of that from green spring pasture (James Ridsdill-Smith). These beetles emerge and feed in April – May. Adults overwinter in the soil and emerge to start breeding as soil temperature rises.
Onthophagus binodis flies during the day.