Onthophagus coenobita (Herbst, 1783)

Female
Local across southern England becoming rarer in the midlands and absent from the North, often common where found. Typically in dung but also carrion and decaying fungi. Jessop quotes May and June for the adults but in our experience they are common in dung and under carrion during April and May, later on they are occasionally found in dung during August and September and in numbers in large rotting bracket fungi at the base of trees during September and October. When uncovered they retract all appendages and lie still for several minutes. However, a group of ten or so discovered under a rotting rat along with many Histeridae (Saprinus sp. and Margarinotus spp.) and staphs immediately and rapidly burrowed into the loose soil achieving a depth of several inches within seconds. Adults excavate tunnels beneath dung where they deposit a series of balls of dung into each of which a single egg is laid.

6-10mm. Pronotum green, coppery or red with metallic lustre, much more so than O. similis , and sides sinuate behind front angles. Elytra light brown or yellow, obscurely marked darker, epipleurs light brown or yellow, good lighting is necessary to eliminate shadows or the carina will appear black, see O. similis. Male with backwardly produced cephalic horn, female head with a transverse ridge.

Description from 4 Watford specimens at X20


Female

Male

Female

Male

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