Scarab beetle insect. Description, features, lifestyle and habitat of the scarab

Scarab beetle associated with Egyptian culture, pharaohs, pyramid riddles and scary mummies. Its symbolism has been used by eastern peoples since ancient times, when it was believed that the wearing of an amulet in the form of an insect protects against all misfortunes. The scarab attracts interest in itself not only as a totemic animal, but also as part of wildlife with its own characteristics of behavior and lifestyle.

Description and Features

The scarab belongs to the subfamily of dung beetles, this is due to the fact that the beetle rolls balls from the dung and moves them over long distances until it finds a suitable place to store its prey. By the way, the ball rolls the insect always in one direction - from east to west, just as the sun rises and sets.

That's why scarab beetle in ancient egypt associated with the sun god, who in the images had the human body and the head of a scarab. The insect in its hot homeland reaches a size of 4 cm, but in other habitats, individuals are smaller - up to 2 cm.

The body of the beetle is convex, has a rich black color, in young scarabs it is matte, but with age it acquires a glossy shine. The head has a clear frontal protrusion with two eyes, divided into paired lobes, and a clypeus with teeth.

Pancreated elytra are located on the back, thanks to which the wings are protected from heat and damage. The beetle flies perfectly even in the hottest daytime hours and is capable of speeds up to 11 km / h. The abdomen and legs are covered with cannon hairs, which in males and females differ in color - in the first they are red, in the second - black.

Since gender differences are underdeveloped in this species of insects, they are distinguished only by the difference in color and a slightly more elongated rear part of the body of the females. Three pairs of paws egyptian scarab beetle have a spur, and two front - digging, also cloves, allowing excellent cling to a rough surface.


Entomologists are considered to be the only species of the sacred scarab beetle, however, more than 100 species of similar insects isolated in a separate family of scarabs are differentiated. The most common of them:

- Scarabaeus (Ateuchetus) armeniacus Metetries;

- Scarabaeus (Ateuchetus) cicatricosus;

- Scarabaeus (Ateuchetus) variolosus Fabricius;

- Scarabaeus (Scarabaeus) winkleri Stolfa.

In addition to the Sacred, the most studied representative of scarabs is typhon, its size is more modest (up to 3 mm), and the color is more like dark brown than black. Basically, all types of beetle differ only in shades and size, and are divided depending on the habitat, therefore little studied - it is considered that they do not have physiological differences, and the way of life is identical for everyone.

Lifestyle & Habitat

Traditionally, it seems that scarab beetle inhabits in Egypt, however, it is spread throughout the African continent and in Western Europe, it is not uncommon to find an insect in these places.

On the Crimean peninsula, the beetle also catches your eye, but it is much smaller than the Egyptian one. In Russia, the scarab settles on the territory of Dagestan and Georgia, small populations are found in the lower Volga.

Some individuals were seen in France, Arabia, Greece and Turkey - where the climate is mild and the summers are long and hot.

An interesting fact is that scientists have made attempts to detect traces of scarab in Australia for more than 20 years, but not a single representative of the species was found, from which it was concluded that the proximity to the kangaroo is not to the liking of these beetles.

You can see the scarab from mid-April until the onset of cold weather. The insect is active during the day, at night, if it is still not warm enough, it can dig deep into the ground. When it becomes hot during daylight hours, the beetle switches to a nocturnal lifestyle.

The scarab is called the orderly of the soil, because his whole life is centered around the biological waste of animal life. Several thousand beetles are able to utilize a bunch of manure in an hour before it has dried.


The only thing, what does the scarab beetle eat - dung left by cattle. Having discovered fresh excrement, the insect forms a ball out of them, often exceeding its own size. In this case, teeth located on the head are used, and the front legs equipped with sharp hooks serve as a shovel.

The basis for the ball is a piece of rounded manure: its scarab captures with its hind legs and no longer releases them until the end of the ball formation. After the necessary base is found, the beetle settles down from above and with the help of "tools" on the front of the trunk begins to separate pieces of material from the main mass of manure, tightly attaching them to the base and forming a perfectly round ball.

Now the insect needs to quickly take its prey to a safe place - there are often fights for prepared food among different individuals, so you can lose the fruit of your labor. The beetle quickly rolls the ball to a distance of several tens of meters, and the farther from the place of its formation, the greater the speed it develops.

It is noteworthy that smaller dung bears can settle in the manure along the way, this will not hurt the scarab, unless there are too many bugs.

Having found a secluded place to store supplies, the insect digs a hole in the soil and bury a dung ball. For the next 10-14 days, the place next to the prey becomes the home of the scarab, because for all this time it is enough for him to eat. After the next ball has exhausted itself, the cycle repeats again.

Reproduction and longevity

Surprisingly, dung beads have become a reason for scarabs to form pairs: a male joins an adult female procuring food, after which they jointly store food for future offspring.

To store food, a pair of insects digs a tunnel with a depth of 10 to 30 cm, in the walls of which it forms recesses. Mink scarab beetle in the photo resembles an anthill with a wide entrance for pushing balls; they prefer to dig their specimens of this species in sandy soil.

The field of how much food is stocked enough, scarabs roll the balls into the mink, the male fertilizes the female, after which the female selects several pieces of the prepared manure and forms pear-shaped lumps from them with the front legs.

In the narrow part, it lays strictly according to one larva, they usually happen from 4 to 20 pieces. Then both beetles bury the future offspring together with food supplies and leave it forever. The pair also does not persist - from this moment on, each individual independently takes care of his food.

The life cycle of a scarab consists of 4 stages, during the passage of which new individuals are formed:

1. egg (it is delayed by the female and remains in the ball-dwelling created by the female for up to 10-12 days);

2. larva (appears approximately 2 weeks after the laying of the eggs and does not change during the month, eating the supplies left by the parents);

3. chrysalis (during this period, the bug is already fully formed, but is in no hurry to dig out and go to the surface, on the contrary, it creates a false cocoon around itself and becomes inactive);

4. adult scarab (leaves the shelter when the soil is softened by spring rains and begins to exist as an adult, independently producing food). The life of a scarab is short-lived by the standards of insects - 2 years, in a temperate climate with a cold winter, the beetle waits for frost, making supplies and hiding in deep minks, while its vital processes do not slow down, it does not hibernate.


Benefits and harm to humans

Scarab beetle not dangerous for man: he will not attack or spoil food supplies or plants. On the contrary, utilizing organic residues, it helps to enrich the soil with minerals and prevents the development of parasites in them, not to mention the specific smell of manure.

The tunnels that the insect prepares for posterity become peculiar light for the soil, providing oxygen access to the roots of plants. The Egyptians scarab beetle - a symbol, maintaining the connection between the God of the Sun and people. It is believed that the insect accompanies a person in earthly and afterlife, marking the sunlight in the heart.

While the Egyptian is alive, the Holy Scarab lures luck, gives longevity and prosperity, protects from evil spirits and brings a good harvest. After death, the insect helps to gain a new life, because the religion of the Egyptians is based on the immortality of the soul. Especially religious residents of Egypt are putting a scarab figurine made of ceramic, metal or glass into the burial today.

In ancient times, the people of the coast of the Nile had a tradition of mummifying noble persons, then a small scarab made of precious metal and decorated with stones was put in place of the extracted heart. The tradition is connected with the understanding that the heart is the main organ of human life, therefore ancient scarab beetle was intended to help the embryo of a new life.

The modern Egyptians with the development of science and medicine began to regard death as inevitable, but the symbol of scarab did not disappear from their lives. It is believed that the images and figures of a bug rolling its ball bring good luck to students - because an insect from waste creates an ideal geometric figure, while working hard.

He helps creative people achieve their goals, create and turn the most simple at first glance things into works of art. For women, the scarab is the keeper of unfading beauty and longevity, because initially it was considered a symbol of life.

To the stronger sex, it brings recognition of colleagues and high financial inflows. The Egyptians sacredly believe that insulting the symbolism of scarab by representatives of a different faith entails the wrath of higher powers up to the death curse.

What does a scarab dream about?

Dreams often prompt a person to solve a problem or warn of danger. Of course, a sacred insect in a dream carries a certain meaning, which is important to interpret correctly. To understand What does the scarab beetle dream of? it is worth recalling all the details of sleep and referring to several dream books:

- Miller's Dream Book: a scarab makes it clear that success can only be achieved if you surrender to the business with your head and make efforts to complete the task;

- Gipsy dream book: the insect promises good luck and approves the path chosen by the dreamer, but only if he dreamed of a flying scarab;

- East Dream Book: if the beetle was in the mouth, the dream should be interpreted as a warning about indiscretion and carelessness of words. You should think before making fiery speeches, because they can lead to undesirable consequences;

- Aesopian dream book: to find a scarab in its own bed - to soon find the second half;

- Assyrian Dream Book: in case a bug beetles from sleep, this can be regarded as a warning about the hidden influence of other people on the dreamer's fate. If the bite passes without a trace - there is nothing to fear, if an abscess is seen in its place - the actions of the enemies will bring them the desired result;

- Noble dream book: a large scarab promises unpleasant secrets around the person who dreamed. They will bring a threat to well-being and negatively affect relationships with loved ones;

- Modern dream book: A scarab beetle, who had dreamed about a young girl, promises an early marriage, but if the insect crawled away, the marriage will not last long.

If in a dream the scarab was not just static, but moved or interacted in some way with the dreamer, this leaves an imprint on the interpretation of sleep:

- an insect covered with amber means that soon you will have to take the burden of responsibility for the fate of another person;

- a precious ornament in the form of a scarab dreams of unexpected wealth - winning a lottery, inheritance or prize;

- The image of a bug on household items promises the dreamer harmony in family life and the establishment of relations with children and a spouse;

- a feeling of disgust in a dream for a scarab or its specific food suggests that unpleasant rumors are circulating in reality about a dreamer that can ruin relations with loved ones;

- a dung beetle in a plate warns against entering into important transactions, especially with unverified people: there is a high probability of losing money;

- if the scarab crossed the road or was just on the way - there will be a meeting that will affect the fate of the dreamer.

Scarab, despite its frightening appearance and gloomy color, does not bode in a dream major troubles or health problems. Unlike many other insects, it becomes a harbinger of success provided that efforts are made to achieve it.

Interesting Facts

- The scarab beetle is listed in the Red Book due to the reduction in the number of individuals around the world, it is under protection, and the destruction of the species is punishable by a fine.

- On the territory of Russia, 8 species of dung beetle were found, however, it is almost impossible to meet them in the middle lane - they stay closer to the hot subjects of our country.

- An egg laid by a female scarab can reach 3 cm in diameter and weigh up to 2 grams, but for the most part they are much smaller.

- For wintering, the beetle is able to lay a tunnel 2.5 - 3 meters deep, stuffing it with dung balls to the top.

- The weight of the ball created by the scarab can reach 50 grams with its own weight of the insect in 2-4 grams.

- Tattoos with the image of a scarab beetle in ancient times were considered a symbol of resurrection, these days they are made in order to gain confidence and strength to move towards the intended goal.

- The dung beetle has cheeks, they are indicated on the head with reddish spots.

- Of all the laid eggs, new individuals appear, but among them there are unhealthy or even mutated ones - their life expectancy does not exceed 3 months.

- Australian scientists imported scarabs four times into the country in the 1980s, when local insects could not cope with the processing of livestock excrement due to heat waves, bugs helped solve the problem, but did not breed and did not take root on the mainland.

So, the scarab beetle was widely recognized not only as a soil orderly and as a deliverer from organic residues, but also as a sacred animal. Over time, the purely Egyptian symbol of the Holy Scarab began to appear in other cultures.

The insect is depicted on household items, tattoos and jewelry. It is believed that the figure of the beetle, richly decorated with stones and made of precious metals, will bring good luck and protect from adversity.

Watch the video: Facts About Beetles - Secret Nature. Beetle Documentary. Natural History Channel (February 2020).

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