Our dung beetle experience

Dung Beetle Achievements

  • Creation Care began researching breeding and farm establishment of dung beetles in 2002.
  • It is the largest dung beetle mass-rearing facility in Australia, producing over 40,000 beetles per year.
  • We use on-farm dung beetle nurseries for rapid distribution of dung beetles across southern Australia, and to develop site suitability guidelines for dung beetle species across a wide range of soils, topography, rainfall and temperatures in Southern Australia.
  • We supply dung beetles for Southern Australia

Release sites of dung beetles across Southern Australia


Mass rearing

At Creation Care we are rearing Bubus bison, B. bubalus, Onthophagus vacca, O. taurus and Euoniticellus fulvus for sale.

Current research is being undertaken with Onthophagus caffer, O. gazella, Copris hispanus, Onitis aygulus, O. pecuarius, O. alexis and Geotrupes spiniger in our mass-rearing facilities at Strathalbyn, South Australia.

Inside our mass-rearing facilities the dung beetles bury brood balls in the soil.

The eggs in the brood balls hatch, the larvae develop and eventually pupate and mature into fully formed adult beetles, which are harvested, cleaned and packed in sterile coir peat, then delivered safely across Australia using "live freight" transport systems.

On-farm beetle establishment

On-farm Beetle Establishment

In 2002 and 2003 Creation Care worked with the Fleurieu Beef Group to release Bubus. bison, Onitis caffer and Geotrupes spiniger dung beetles on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.

The historical method for establishing dung beetles on farms in Australia has been to release a colony of 1,000 or more beetles into open paddocks and wait several years before knowing whether the released species has successfully established on that site.  A wait of 5-7 years is usually needed before the beetles have increased to sufficient numbers for harvesting from that site and redistributing the beetles to other sites.

An “on-farm nursery” is when a small number of beetles are put into a cage/ tent and bred in that cage for future releases on the farm.

Creation Care began on-farm dung beetle nursery work in 2003.

Case studies of on-farm beetle establishment

Samantha Martin of Myponga (South Australia), opened a breeding tent in September 2020 to release 1530 farm-bred O. vacca beetles. She started with 100 beetles one year before the release.

Samantha Martine O. vacca release

Terry Sweetman of Hindmarsh Tiers (South Australia) started with 80 B. bubalus bas breeding stock.  Because of the low number of initial beetles, it took 2 breeding seasons to obtain 727 beetles.  Creation Care now set up B. bubalus nurseries with 140 to 160 beetles so that sufficient numbers for a release can be obtained in one year.

Terry Sweetman removes a breeding tent to release the beetles

Jason Pattullo of Kuitpo (South Australia), started with 100 O. vacca dung beetles in an on-farm nursery in September 2019. In September 2020, Jason removed the beetle holding tent, to release 1,200 O. vacca that were bred on his farm. Three weeks after this release, Jason reported finding active O. vacca in nearly every dung pad up to 50 metres from the release site.

Dung Beetles
Jason Pattullo (left) releasing 1,200 O. vacca