Geotrupidae (from Greek geos, earth, and trypetes, borer) is a family of beetles in the order Coleoptera. They are commonly called earth-boring dung beetles. Most excavate burrows in which to lay their eggs. They are typically detritivores, provisioning their nests with leaf litter (often moldy), but are occasionally coprophagous, similar to dung beetles. The eggs are laid in or upon the provision mass and buried, and the developing larvae feed upon the provisions. The burrows of some species can exceed 2 metres in depth.

A few species communicate by stridulation (rubbing body parts together to make sounds).

Geotrupes egeriei
Geotrupes egeriei
Scientific classification

Latreille, 1802

25 see text.

Anoplotrupes stercorosus


They were originally classified as the subfamily Geotrupinae in the family Scarabaeidae before being elevated to a family. Traditionally the dor beetle family Bolboceratidae was included (as the subfamily Bolboceratinae) on the basis of the number of antenna segments, but examination of a different set of characteristics prompted Scholtz & Browne (1995) to elevate Bolboceratidae to a family, a result supported by recent phylogenetic research.[1]

The family has more than 600 species in about 30 genera in two subfamilies; recent phylogenetic studies indicate that Taurocerastinae is not related to Geotrupinae, and is instead more closely related to Lucanidae and Diphyllostomatidae.[1]

  • Geotrupinae
    • Allotrupes Boucomont, 1912
    • Anoplotrupes Jekel, 1866
    • Baraudia López-Colón, 1996
    • Ceratophyus Fischer von Waldheim, 1823
    • Ceratotrupes Jekel, 1865
    • Chelotrupes Jekel, 1866
    • Cnemotrupes Jekel, 1866
    • Cretogeotrupes Nikolajev, 1992
    • Enoplotrupes Lucas, 1869
    • Geohowdenius Zunino, 1984
    • Geotrupes Latreille, 1796
    • Halffterius Zunino, 1984
    • Haplogeotrupes Nikolaev, 1979
    • Jekelius López-Colón, 1989
    • Lethrus Scopoli, 1777
    • Megatrupes Zunino, 1984
    • Mycotrupes LeConte, 1866
    • Odontotrypes Fairmaire, 1887
    • Onthotrupes Howden, 1964
    • Phelotrupes Jekel, 1866
    • Peltotrupes Blanchard, 1888
    • Pseudotrypocopris Miksic, 1954
    • Sericotrupes Zunino, 1984
    • Silphotrupes Jekel, 1866
    • Thorectes Mulsant, 1842
    • Trypocopris Motschulsky, 1860
    • Typhaeus Leach, 1815
    • Zuninoeus López-Colón, 1989
  • Taurocerastinae
    • Frickius Germain, 1897
    • Taurocerastes Philippi, 1866

External links


  1. ^ a b MCKENNA, D. D., WILD, A. L., KANDA, K., BELLAMY, C. L., BEUTEL, R. G., CATERINO, M. S., FARNUM, C. W., HAWKS, D. C., IVIE, M. A., JAMESON, M. L., LESCHEN, R. A. B., MARVALDI, A. E., MCHUGH, J. V., NEWTON, A. F., ROBERTSON, J. A., THAYER, M. K., WHITING, M. F., LAWRENCE, J. F., ŚLIPIŃSKI, A., MADDISON, D. R. and FARRELL, B. D. (2015), The beetle tree of life reveals that Coleoptera survived end-Permian mass extinction to diversify during the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution. Syst Entomol, 40: 835–880. doi:10.1111/syen.12132

Anoplotrupes is a genus of earth-boring dung beetles belonging to the family Geotrupidae subfamily Geotrupinae.


Bolbocerastes is a genus of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are at least four described species in Bolbocerastes.


Bolboceratidae, the dor beetles, is a family of beetle. It was historically treated as a subfamily of the earth-boring dung beetles (family Geotrupidae), but has been considered a separate family since 1995. Some recent classifications have persisted in treating bolboceratids as a subfamily (e.g.) but these classifications are contradicted by recent phylogenetic studies of relationships indicating that bolboceratids are not closely related to geotrupids (e.g., that bolboceratids are more closely related to Pleocomidae and Passalidae).


Bolboceratinae is a subfamily of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are about 8 genera and at least 40 described species in Bolboceratinae.Catalogue of Life and GBIF now consider Bolboceratinae to be a family, Bolboceratidae, rather than a subfamily. ITIS currently treats Bolboceratinae as a subfamily of Geotrupidae.


Bradycinetulus is a genus of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are at least three described species in Bradycinetulus.


Ceratophyus rossii Jekel, 1865.

Ceratophyus is a genus of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are about 13 described species in Ceratophyus.

Dung beetle

Dung beetles are beetles that feed partly or exclusively on feces (dung). A dung beetle can bury dung 250 times heavier than itself in one night.Many dung beetles, known as rollers, roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or breeding chambers. Others, known as tunnelers, bury the dung wherever they find it. A third group, the dwellers, neither roll nor burrow: they simply live in manure. They are often attracted by the dung collected by burrowing owls. There are dung beetle species of different colours and sizes, and some functional traits such as body mass (or biomass) and leg length can have high levels of variability.All the species belong to the superfamily Scarabaeoidea; most of them to the subfamilies Scarabaeinae and Aphodiinae of the family Scarabaeidae (scarab beetles). As most species of Scarabaeinae feed exclusively on feces, that subfamily is often dubbed true dung beetles. There are dung-feeding beetles which belong to other families, such as the Geotrupidae (the earth-boring dung beetle). The Scarabaeinae alone comprises more than 5,000 species.The nocturnal African dung beetle Scarabaeus satyrus is the only known non-vertebrate animal to navigate and orient itself using the Milky Way.


Eucanthus is a genus of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are about eight described species in Eucanthus.


Geotrupes (from Greek 'earth-boring') is a genus of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are at least 30 described species in Geotrupes.

Geotrupes spiniger

Geotrupes spiniger is a species of earth-boring dung beetles native to Europe.

Geotrupes stercorarius

Geotrupes stercorarius is a species of earth-boring dung beetle, common name Dor.

The beetle is up to 2.5 cm (1 in) long. The whole beetle is weakly lustrous and darkly colored, sometimes with a bluish sheen. The body shape is very compact and arched toward the top. On each elytron seven long rows of points are just visible. The head is clearly forward, and similar to a shovel in shape. The antennae are short and thicken into fans at the ends. On each leg there are numerous spikes.

The beetle is coprophagous, feeding on the droppings of herbivorous animals, and thus is found wherever cattle are kept. In the evenings, one can observe them closely circle around the animals on the ground. They create a chirping sound with their hind legs. In the spring, a male and female dig a passage in the earth under a heap of dung, which can be up to 50 cm (20 in) in length. From this the female digs side passages. Into each of these a piece of dung is brought, and an egg is laid. Afterwards, the chamber is closed off with more dung. The larvae which hatch from the eggs feed on the dung for a year, and then pupate. The adult beetles emerge from the pupae.


Geotrupinae is a subfamily of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are more than 30 genera and 450 described species in Geotrupinae.


Mycotrupes is a genus of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are at least 5 described species in Mycotrupes.


Peltotrupes is a genus of earth-boring scarab beetles in the family Geotrupidae. There are at least two described species in Peltotrupes.

Rain beetle

The rain beetles are a group of beetles found in the far west of North America. They spend most of their lives underground, emerging in response to rain or snow, thus the common name. Formerly classified in the Geotrupidae, they are currently assigned to their own family Pleocomidae, considered the sister group to all the remaining families of Scarabaeoidea. The family contains a single extant genus, Pleocoma, and two extinct genera, Cretocoma, described in 2002 from Late Cretaceous deposits in Mongolia, and Proteroscarabeus of Late Cretaceous China.Possessing a robust oval body form similar to other scarabaeiforms, their ventral side is densely covered with fine, long hairs (genus name derives from Greek πλείων (ple-, abundant) and κόμη (kome, hair), extending to the legs and to the margins of thorax and elytra. The back is hairless and glossy. Overall colors range from black to a reddish-brown, while the hairs may range from yellow to red to black. The antennae are 11-segmented, with a club of four to eight lamellae, more than in any other group of the Scarabaeoidea. The mandibles are not functional, and the opening into the esophagus is closed off; adults do not eat.Larvae have the typical scarabaeiform characteristics, C-shaped bodies generally a creamy white. They feed on roots in the soil, often deep beneath the host plant. Details of the larval stage are only known for some species; they have nine or more instars, and may take up to 13 years to mature. After a late summer pupation, adults of both sexes dig their way to the surface, emerging around the onset of the fall/winter rainy season typical of, for instance, California's climate; some species are active as late as early spring. Females have only vestigial wings, so the males fly around (often while it is raining), homing in on pheromones released by the females. They mate on the surface or in a burrow dug out by the female, then the female lays eggs in the bottom of the burrow. The "triggering" conditions required for some species to fly are so stringent that a given population may only be active for a single day in a given year. Males are commonly attracted to bright lights.

Members of Pleocoma are known from extreme southern Washington, throughout the mountains of Oregon and California, and into the extreme north of Baja California.


The family Scarabaeidae, as currently defined, consists of over 30,000 species of beetles worldwide; they are often called scarabs or scarab beetles. The classification of this family has undergone significant change in recent years. Several subfamilies have been elevated to family rank (e.g., Pleocomidae, Glaresidae, Glaphyridae, Ochodaeidae, and Geotrupidae), and some reduced to lower ranks. The subfamilies listed in this article are in accordance with those in Bouchard (2011).


Scarabaeoidea is a superfamily of beetles, the only subgroup of the infraorder Scarabaeiformia. Around 35,000 species are placed in this superfamily and some 200 new species are described each year. Its constituent families are also undergoing revision presently, and the family list below is only preliminary.

Trypocopris vernalis

Trypocopris vernalis, known sometimes by the common name dor beetle or spring dor beetle, is a type of dung beetle. The larva of Trypocopris vernalis feeds on dung of animals such as sheep (Ovis aries) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

Typhaeus typhoeus

Typhaeus typhoeus (minotaur beetle) is a species of earth-boring dung beetles native to Europe. The beetles feed on faeces of herbivorous animals, preferably rabbits and small ruminants such as sheep and deer. They inhabit sandy soils in light pine forests or sandy heaths. The animals have now become rare and are protected in Germany. The adult beetles are rarely found. The open, circular, approximately 1 cm large entrances of the housing and brood chambers, which are found on vegetation-free soil sites, are much more striking.

Extant Coleoptera families


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.