Common Name: Woodland Dor beetle
Scientific Name: Anoplotrupes stercorosus (Scriba, 1791)
Classification: Insecta; Coleoptera; Scarabaeoidea; Geotrupidae; Anoplotrupes
Status: Least Concern
Size Range: 12 – 19 mm
ID Rating: 3
ID from Image: Yes
This species is widespread but found most often in the west and north. It is found in dung or wandering around in the open, usually in or near woodland but is also be found on moorland and upland habitats. To view Anoplotrupes stercorosus records on iRecord click here and on NBN Atlas click here.
Ecology and Biology
Adults become active in early spring and can be found throughout the summer and autumn months. They are diurnal and have a broad diet, feeding on dung, fungi, carrion and decaying plant matter.
Brood chambers are dug into the soil to a depth of around 20-50cm in spring and early summer depending on the soil type. Eggs are oviposited into a dung pellet within the brood chamber. Larvae develop throughout the summer and emerge as an adult in the late summer or early autumn. After a period of feeding, the beetle digs a tunnel in which to spend the winter. It emerges again in early spring to mate.
This species has a rounded body shape. The pronotum is has a complete basal bead. Seven striae between the suture and humeral callus. The striae are less well defined than in Geotrupes and the surface between the stria has a heavily crinkled appearance. The abdominal hairs are evenly distributed. The hind tibiae has a single complete ridge whereas Geotrupes have two complete ridges.
Anoplotrupes stercorosus has also been classified under the genus Geotrupes sensu auctt. partim non Latreille, 1796.
The synonym sylvaticus (Panzer, 1797 [Scarbaeus]) has also been used.
Threats and Conservation
Wild populations of deer in woodlands will be an important dung source for this species but as a generalist feeder it is not affected by reduced dung availability as much as some others.
The current trend of fungal foraging may have an impact, particularly in areas where there are many mushroom pickers and the fungal are collected excessively.
Large numbers of this beetle are occasionally found dead or dying in a very localised area. This phenomenon has been recorded in the Forest of Dean, the New Forest and in Devon. The reason for this is not currently understood but may be linked to horses that have been hacked through the area that have recently been treated with equine wormers such as ivermectin.