More resources about Dung Beetles

We are hosting two Dung Beetle workshops in early December - the resources below will help you prepare for this workshop - but also to learn more about Dung Beetles in Australia after the workshop.

About Bernard Doube - our workshop presenter

Dr Bernard Doube is the Principal of Dung Beetle Solutions Australia (DBSA). He has extensive research experience with dung beetles in South Africa and Australia. He is also an international expert on ticks, dung-breeding flies, earthworms and the biological basis of soil health. He has co-edited the books Soil biota: management in sustainable farming systems and Biological indicators of soil health and was on the editorial boards of two international soil science journals. Bernard has promoted dung beetles on many radio and TV programs. His recent book Dung down under has sold over 2000 copies. Bernard is available for workshops on soil health as well as dung beetles, earthworms and buffalo flies.

About DBSA

Dung Beetle Solutions Australia (DBSA) conducts applied research into the role of dung beetles in grazing and horticultural systems, and their influence on soil health and water quality. DBSA supplies winter- and summer-active dung beetles for southern Australia.

Contact Dr Bernard Doube:; 0448 883 043;


Why are dung beetles good on farm?

Dung beetles can build better soils and improve your farm profits in at least nine ways:
1. More pasture
2. Less fertiliser
3. Fewer parasites
4. Less pesticide
5. Greater water infiltration
6. More earthworms
7. More soil carbon
8. Less nutrient loss
9. Improved water quality



How to sample dung beetles on your farm

1. To collect dung beetles from your farm

  • Select fresh dung cow or horse pads which have a margin of fresh soil around them
  • Approach the dung pads quietly so that the beetles do not crash dive down their tunnels
  • Use a long-handled shovel to scoop up the dung and 2cm of soil underneath the dung pad
  • Place soil, grass and dung into a bucket
  • Fill the bucket with cold water and stir gently
  • Collect beetles as they float to the surface

2. Bring your dung beetles into the workshop in a small jar for identification or dry the down for further reference or identification

  • Kill the beetles in hot water
  • Dry beetles for two days on newspaper (out of direct sunlight)
  • Select a 3-4 beetle sample of what you think might be a one species (it's best to do this job in sunlight, so you can see properly)
  • Place this species sample into match box (do not include cotton wool or sticky tape)
  • Repeat the process until you have a 3-4 beetle sample for each different species of dung beetle you find (look for size and colour differences between the beetles)


Other resources

We will have order forms at the workshop for the following books:

Dung Down Under (workshop special price of $25)

Introduced dung beetles field guide ($22)


Or here are some great websites / online resources:

The pasture growth and environmental benefits of dung beetles to the southern Australian cattle industry