STEP 1 – collect beetles
- Select dung pads which have a margin of fresh soil around them
- Approach the dung pads quietly so that the beetles do not crash dive down their tunnels
- Use a long-handled shovel to scoop up the dung and 2cm of soil underneath the dung pad
- Place soil, grass and dung into a bucket
- Fill the bucket with cold water and stir gently
- Collect beetles as they float to the surface
SHEEP VERSUS COW DUNG… please note, the Mudgee district does not yet have any known sheep dung beetles! Feel free to use the above methodology to see if you can find any sheep dung beetles, however the main beetles known in our area are those that bury cattle dung.
STEP 2 – prepare the beetles for postage!
- Kill the beetles in hot water
- Dry beetles for two days on newspaper (out of direct sunlight)
- Select a 3-4 beetle sample of what you think might be a one species (it’s best to do this job in sunlight, so you can see properly)
- Place this species sample into match box (do not include cotton wool or sticky tape)
- Repeat the process until you have a 3-4 beetle sample for each different species of dung beetle you find
HOW DO I GUESS IF IT IS A DIFFERENT SPECIES?
Just like a dog is a different to a fox, it is probably a different species of dung beetle if it…
- is a different colour
- is a different size
- if you are unsure, include it in your sample… but remember you can only submit a total maximum of 25 beetles for your FREE IDENTIFICATION!
STEP 3 – post your samples…
SOILCAM offer a Free Identification Service
Mr John Feehan
3 Prell Place
HACKETT ACT 2602
The samples must be accompanied by the following information:
- Your name
- Your postal address
- Your telephone number
- a road map clearly showing the location of your property in relation to the largest nearby towns
- A stamped self-addressed envelope
STEP 4 – results!
After a couple of weeks, you will receive your dung beetle identification results. Including:
- the identified CSIRO-introduced species present on your farm;
- additional introduced dung beetle species suitable for your climate; and
- a list of those species which SOILCAM can supply and the approximate cost, which will depend on availability and ease of harvesting.