Common name:

Dor beetles

Number of species:


Size Range:





  • Anoplotrupes stercorosus
  • Geotrupes mutator
  • Trypocopris vernalis
  • Typhaeus typhoeus


The Geotrupidae have eight British representatives, seven in the subfamily Geotrupinae and one species, Odonteus armiger (Scopoli) in subfamily Bolbatocerinae, often raised to family level. This species is thought to feed on hypogeal (underground) fungi and is found mostly in the south and southeast, here it is often caught at light.  Males have prominent thoracic horns.

The Geotrupinae are large black heavily-built beetles (10-26mm), often with green or blue metallic reflections.  Like O. armiger, they are strong fliers and often come to light.  The minotaur beetle Typhaeus typhoeus (L.) is our only member of the ‘roller’ guild of dung beetles: males have three large thoracic horns.  Both sexes can occasionally be seen rolling rabbit droppings towards their deep (1-1.5m) burrows, but can be more often located by the spoil heaps their tunnelling leaves in open sandy areas.  The other species excavate shorter (5-60cm) burrows beneath or directly beside dung.