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ARS Home » Plains Area » Kerrville, Texas » Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory » LAPRU » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #345291

Research Project: Cattle Fever Tick Control and Eradication

Location: Livestock Arthropod Pests Research

Title: Comparison of chemical attractants against dung beetles and application for rangeland and animal health

Author
item Goolsby, John
item Singh, Nirbhay - Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University
item Thomas, Donald
item Ortega, Alfonso - East Foundation
item Hewitt, David - Non Ars Employee
item Campbell, Tyler - East Foundation
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto - Beto

Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2017
Publication Date: 6/1/2017
Citation: Goolsby, J., Singh, N., Thomas, D.B., Ortega, A., Hewitt, D., Campbell, T., Perez De Leon, A.A. 2017. Comparison of chemical attractants against dung beetles and application for rangeland and animal health. Southwestern Entomologist. 42(2):339-346.

Interpretive Summary: Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) are beneficial insects that play a major role in nutrient cycling, soil aeration, and biological control of pests, i.e. flies, that breed in manure. Loss of habitat, pesticide usage, and conventional agricultural practices have reduced their numbers, and their conservation is of growing concern. In the process of developing lures for the exotic nilgai antelope (host of cattle fever ticks), we discovered that one of the lures was highly attractive to dung beetles. We are publishing this result, because the lure could be used to efficiently collect dung beetles for relocation to ranches where they are needed. In our study we describe the lure and the many species of dung beetles collected.

Technical Abstract: Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) play a major role in nutrient cycling, soil aeration, and biological control of pests and parasites that breed in manure. Habitat fragmentation, pesticide usage, and conventional agricultural practices threaten dung beetle diversity, and their conservation is of growing concern. This study from August to October 2016 on the East Foundation, Santa Rosa Ranch, Kenedy County, TX investigated the comparative effectiveness of three chemical attractants, viz., screwworm lure, volatile fatty acids, and citronella oil to attract dung beetles. The screwworm lure attracted large numbers of beetles, but the other two attractants were not attractive to dung beetles. Morphological identification of 16 adult specimens confirmed Phanaeus vindex MacLeay, family Scarabaeidae (eight); Canthon pilularius L., family Scarabaeidae (five); and Nicrophorus carolinus L., family Silphidae (three), indicating the dung beetles were very attracted. Screwworm lure might be used to efficiently attract large numbers of dung beetles for relocation to areas where the species have been impacted.