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Scarabaeus cristatus

Scarabaeus cristatus
Photo Information
Copyright: Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 584 W: 64 N: 2237] (7529)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-05-21
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H10, Zeiss Tessar 40 mm
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/640 seconds
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-07-28 1:30
Viewed: 5571
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Back from the trip to Morocco:

The two Dung beetles (Coleoptera; Scarabaeidae; Scarabaeus cristatus Fabr. 1775; Pillendreher) rolling some sheep dung into a ball are not cooperating at all. One of the beetles is doing the work of rolling the ball onto a suitable substrate for burying, the other one is a pirate, trying to steal the ball. Jean-Henri Fabre has described the same process and his experiments in his "Souvenirs entomologiques" in splendid detail.

The picture was taken in the Talassemtane National Park in the Rif mountains near Chefchaouen/ Morocco (click on "Map: View" for details)

ID: difficult! There are 7 species of Scarabaeus in Northern Africa and some smaller species roll dung balls as well (Gymnopleurus sp. ; Sisyphus sp.). Scarabaeus laticollis L. occurs in Europe as well and looks quite similar like the one shown here. But there are some indentations on the prothorax that are lacking in S. cristatus. Help came from kaefer-der-welt.de and Jean-Claude Ringenbach's "Scarabaeoids of Lybia".

sandpiper2, uleko, Argus, jpdenk, cataclysta has marked this note useful
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To Argus: So far northmeyerd 2 07-28 11:42
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Critiques [Translate]

one is doing the work and one is trying to steal it? *g* cool beetles, great capture,
love the details, good that we donīt have smelling photos (yet).*g*. well done & best wishes, thor.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-07-28 2:38]

Hello Dietrich
Nice capture of these two bugs. Excellent details too.

Hi Dietrich,

Small creatures well photographed doing an important job. Some species of these beetles are on the danger list so it is good to make people aware.


Hi Dietrich

So someone even steals sheep poo!!(he he he). A great story.
Excellent composition of these dusty dung beetles. Excellent sharpness and DOF. Well done.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3423 W: 173 N: 3309] (10940)
  • [2009-07-28 8:28]

Hello Dietrich,
With all the sheep (and donkeys!)around I bet there is plenty of this activity going on in Morocco! A fine capture of these busy Beetles covered in dust. Interesting to see and I hope you have more to show us from your trip!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5042 W: 260 N: 15594] (50624)
  • [2009-07-28 11:15]
  • [+]

Hello Dietrich,
A fine action shot of two Scarabeus beetles playing ball! The typical shape of the dung-pushing head is well seen despite the dust. I must say I didn't know these were found so far north.
Thanks and best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4419)
  • [2009-07-28 16:49]

Hello Dietrich

Wonderful shot with natural colors and lighting, excellent details and composition. This is a interesting beetle.
Well done

Hi Dietrich,

An excellent photo showing these fascinating insects at work, and an excellent note too.


hello Dietrich
super composition with very good details
great sharpness
greeting lou

Hi Dietrich
Fantastic place and great observation. Great photo from Morocco. Good exposure, nice moment and good sharpness Very interesting presentation
Best wishes

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