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Survival and reproduction in the scarabaeine dung beetle Onthophagus binodis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) on dung produced by cattle on grain diets in feedlots



Survival and reproduction in the scarabaeine dung beetle Onthophagus binodis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) on dung produced by cattle on grain diets in feedlots



Environmental Entomology 25(5): 1026-1031



Feedlotting cattle with dietary supplements of grain before market is becoming a widespread practice in Australia. Many farmers involved in this practice have noticed a minimal amount of dung beetle activity in the dung produced by cattle being fed grain diets. In this study, the dung from both feedlotted (grain-fed) and pasture-fed cattle was assessed as a food and reproductive resource for the dung beetle Onthophagus binodis Thunberg by bioassay in the laboratory. The diet of grain-fed cattle consisted of either 15% lupine, 20% oats, and 65% barley (50% grain) (grain 1) or 70% lupin grain and 30% hay (grain 2). There was no significant difference in either adult beetle mortality or the emergence pattern of F1 progeny when beetles were maintained on dung from either grain-fed or pasture-fed cattle. However, dung beetles reared on dung from pasture-fed cattle produced significantly more brood masses compared with beetles reared on dung from cattle fed on grain 2. A significantly greater number of F1 progeny survived to aduldhood from brood masses produced by beetles reared on dung from pasture-fed cattle compared with dung from grain-fed cattle. The progeny emerging from brood masses produced with dung from pasture-fed cattle were significantly larger compared with progeny emerging from brood masses produced with dung from grain-fed cattle.

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Accession: 002973046

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DOI: 10.1093/ee/25.5.1026


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