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Dung Beetle Taking Off

Dung Beetle Taking Off
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-31
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 50D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2010-08-01 22:10
Viewed: 4546
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I was looking for late summer butterflies in this special sandy area rich in flowers when this Dung Beetle landed on the sand.

Dung Beetle (Geotrupes vernalis)

Swedish name: Slät tordyvel, meaning ‘smooth dung beetle’. Other species in this genus have rougher, often grooved, wing cases, or elytra and are less iridescent in colour. The iridescence varies in individuals, both in strength and tone. This blue tone is rather attractive in this individual.

This is a female looking for animal droppings. She was almost 2 cm (3/4 in) long.

I first photographed her in a normal position. This image can be seen in the WORKSHOP. She then turned and took off, which is when I took the main image.
Notice the aerodynamic curved shape of the elytra that gives lift during flight.

She has powerful legs that she uses to dig a deep hole. She then carries balls of dung into the hole where she lays an egg. The larva then eats the dung. It has also been known to eat rotting fungi.

It is locally distributed in S. Sweden and is quite common in most of Europe where there are open areas with light or sandy soils, but is quite scarce in the UK.

This was taken at a distance of about 1.8 meters with my long lens camera hand held.
After moderate cropping and size reduction the image was slightly sharpened.

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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Animal Behaviouringridshaul 1 08-01 23:48
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Critiques [Translate]

Good Morning Ivan, great close-up shot of this dung beetle with wonderful details and composition. The wing position is super.
TFS and best regards,

Wow Ivan, what a spectacular capture.
I've rarely taken so clear a photo of a beetle standing still,let alone taking off.
It must be amazing to be able to shoot macro from a distance.
To get a shot like this I would have to be nearly touching the beetle.
Superb exposure,colour and focus.
Cheers & TFS

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2010-08-01 23:45]

Wonderful image, I liked the viewpoint and the metallic blue that you captured here, opening its wings has given very special effect. tfs.

Dear Ivan,
A great documentary of a Dung Beetle in Sweden - and like everything else in Sweden - clean and shiny! :-))

The local, South African Dung Beetles are ALWAYS covered in Dung, therefore dirty grey...

Thanks to the perfect focus of your image - at last - I can see all relevant details. Thanks.

I read with great interest your notes, comparing them with my experiences of Dung Beetles e.g. have not seen any on sand before.

Thanks again,
Have a nice week-end
Warm Greetings from South Africa

Hej and Good Morning Ivan dostum,

This is realy great capture of a dung beetlee while landing with opened wings:) Great moment anbd lovely image indeed.
Excellent composition, the exposure looks nice and balanced too. Well done MF!
TFS and have a great new week!


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-08-02 0:39]

Hello Ivan,
Splendid photo of this beetle in the 'take off' position. Very beautiful colours in great sharp details. Excellent low POV, DOF and composition.

Hallo Ivan,
a very beautiful capture of the Dung Beetle taken with great timing, superb sharpness and splendid colour tones, excellent POV and composition; very beautiful picture with marvellous metallic reflections in WS too.
Best regards

Hi Ivan

I always find it amazing that beetles can fly; they just look too heavy to be able to lift off with their fragile wings.
An impressive shot from your big lens. Great sharpness and DOf. The blue sheen is very attractive. Have a great week.


Hi Ivan,

This is a very well caught picture of this beetle just about to take off. The detail is very good and there is a good DOF. There are also some nice colours.
Great capture and TFS


  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-08-02 1:31]

Hi Ivan,
Splendid composition, great macro, TFS!

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-08-02 3:13]

Hello Ivan,
another lovely capture of this dung bug in a good stance. The shines is well retained and the sharpness is excellently recorded.
I like the shallow depth, that brings an exciting view and a splendid composition.


Ciao Ivan, great macro of fantastic beetle with open wings, excellent sharpness, fine details and splendid metallic colors, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Dear Ivan!

The fact that the beetle's wings are open and is going to take off clearly adds to the value of the picture. This allows, as you say, to take notice of the aerodynamical shape. Moreover, the colours are superb giving the little "monster" a strong impact that underlines its powerful appearing.

Kind regards


hello Ivan

excellent photos of this insect shot with fine focus
sharpness and details, because of its pose and your
frontal POV and the way it is framed i love much
more this photo than the one of the WS, TFS


  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2010-08-02 9:47]

Hi Ivan
What a grat closed up of the Beetle.Good low pov an razor sharp image.Excellent natural colors.I really like the Beetle pose with wing open,
TFS Michel

hello Ivan
Super moment to take this picture
beautiful colours with great sharpness and nice pose of the front
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-08-02 10:05]

Hello Ivan.
The detail and sharpness of the Dung Beetle are excellent. The clarity of the image is great. The Lighting is very well done and makes a wonderful pic that is very well detailed of the subject.Best regards Siggi

Hello Ivan,
Very good macro with great sharp details, beautiful colors, excellent low POV and DOF.

Hello Ivan,
Great colours and timing! Excellent frontal view, with very sharp details on the head. Well done! Cheers,

Hello Ivan,
What I can say?... Heavens! this shot is all eloquent!... really impressive!... great POV, great light, great DOF handled!... nice coleoptera also!... and WHAT a POSE!
TFS, Regards, Jesús

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-08-02 19:24]

Hi Ivan,

It might not be a butterfly but you certainly captured a wonderful moment. Amazing to be able to get a shot as he is landing with the opened wings. The metallic blue sparkles and focus and clarity are impeccable. Superb pose and composition.


Hello Ivan. Super macro photo of this dung beetle.
Details, POV and composition are impressive. TFS.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-08-03 4:49]

Bonjour Ivan,
Un coléoptère que je n'ai plus vu depuis bien longtemps, mais dans mon enfance je l'ai souvent observé. Très beau les reflets bleus de sa carapace et une grande chance d'avoir pu le photographier avec les ailes déployées! Parfaite netteté aussi, pas facile avec cet angle de vue.
Un grand merci aussi d'avoir apprécié mon Lycaenide que j'ai vu en Valais, à la montagne.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-08-03 14:10]

Hi Ivan,
Very good capture with great timing and focusing.An excellent sharpness,colors and frontal POV.TFS.
Bi slavên germ,

HI Ivan,
A beuatiful sharp and detailed photo of this dung beetle. Regards,

Ya gotta wonder where these fellas hang out:-) but it was nice of the creatured to hold still long enough for you to gt all your settings down right.nice job Ivan.I think you have pretty much written the book on settings...

Hello Ivan
great capture of this black Beetle, very special pose with wings open for taking off, i like also the frontal view,
the head is well focused with fine details, nice environment
Have a good night

Hallå Ivan,
A nice capture of this dung beetle with wings open while landing not an easy to capture shot. But you have captured it very well with sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Bien captadas las difíciles tonalidades negras y los reflejos azulados. Oportunidad en el momento del disparo ya que podemos ver al escarabajo en una pose muy interesante. Buen trabajo.

Fine details and I like the almost head-on POV Ivan.
Great metallic colors that are well exposed too. I've tried this & you have to be quick..Once the wing covers come up they're gone in a blink :)
Well done!

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2010-08-11 12:15]

Hi Ivan,
I just had to have a look once more into your gallery. Unfortunately I am not a regular visitor on TN. The sight of this fearsome Star Wars like Geeotrupes taking off is awesome. And of course there is some consummate technique involved here: you worked for instance in natural and diffuse light, avoiding the glare of the cuticle. And I guess you had to lay down on the ground for the right angle :-)
Best regards

Terrific action shot, Ivan.
I have actually never seen a Dung Beetle opening its wings to take flight and this is a suprise for me. I thought they looked so stiff and hard they could not be used for flying.
The image is razor sharp with excellent colours and details.

merhaba Ivan
this also great macro shot. you greatly capture shiny wings of dunk beetle in taking off. great sharp details and great timing. composition, light using and POV superb. I also like your Workshot post. thanks for sharing. have a good night my friend

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2010-08-20 9:31]

Hi Ivan,
Great moment captured with the beetle preparing for flight.
A rare sight of this insect with the wings upraised.
Excellent macro with fantastic details.
You did a fantastic job catching the metallic sheen and the varied hues of purple and black on the exoskeleton.
TFS. : )

Hi Argus,
What a wonderful shot! Clear, fantastic and the details are amazing! The landing Beetle looks fantastic. The blue metallic colour is amazing!

Many thanks for sharing it!


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