Eur. J. Entomol. 111 (3): 349-355, 2014 | 10.14411/eje.2014.050

Differences between beetle communities colonizing cattle and horse dung

1 Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Warmia and Mazury, Pl. Łódzki 3, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland; e-mail:
2 Departament of Zoology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Warmia and Mazury, Oczapowskiego 5, 10-718 Olsztyn, Poland; e-mail:

Piles of fresh cow and horse dung were placed in a pasture in Dziarny in north-east Poland. The differences between the beetle communities colonizing both types of dung at various stages of succession were analyzed. Beetles were sampled 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 days after placing the piles of dung in the pasture. A total of 5 343 individuals belonging to 125 species and 10 families were collected in 24 samples. None of the species of beetles collected colonized exclusively one type of dung. Several taxa showed a clear preference for cow or horse dung. Beetle succession proceeded faster in horse dung and there were significant differences in the dominant species recorded in the two types of dung. The reasons for the reported patterns are discussed.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Aphodiidae, Hydrophilidae, Ptiliidae, Staphylinidae, cow dung, horse dung

Received: December 19, 2013; Accepted: April 11, 2014; Prepublished online: May 27, 2014; Published: July 14, 2014

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