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Title: The African Dung Beetle Genera
Author: Adrian L.V. Davis; Andrey V. Frolov; Clarke H. Scholtz
Publisher: Protea Boekhuis
Pretoria, South Africa 2008
Hardcover, 22 x 29 cm, 276 pages, many photos and maps, English
This book deals with each of the 101 dung beetle genera known from Africa and provides the first ever comprehensive account of their classification and natural history. It is richly illustrated with colour photographs of species representing the genera, and maps of their geographical distribution. All published biological information on each of the groups is included, as is a large amount of unpublished information gleaned by the authors during a combined total research career spanning over 70 years.
Africa is home to about half of the world's dung beetles where they may be found in every conceivable habitat in which they associate with the dung of virtually all animals from lizards to elephants. They come in a range of sizes from 1.5 mm to 60 mm and an array of colours from bkck to brilliant iridescent greens, coppers and blues. Some are adorned with horns and others have such long legs they have been compared to spiders. All of these aspects, and more, are dealt with in the book.
As an example, dung beetles of the subfamily Scarabaeinae are amongst the most prominent members of the dung fauna in tropical and warm temperate regions. This is primarily due to the highly visible habits of the larger and more strikingly coloured ball-rolling members of the subfamily. Such species fly to dung, construct their balls in full view of any observer, then roll them away across the soil surface to a burial site.
However, like the rest of the dung beetle fauna, the greatest proportion of scarabaeine species does not remain on the dung surface after arrival. Instead, they burrow out of sight within the dropping, from which they bury portions of dung directly into subterranean tunnels. Tunnelling species such as these are responsible for the excavated piles of earth often seen at the edge of droppings.
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