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How Strong Are Dung Beetles? (Answer: Very!)

Dung beetles are one of the most impressive insects that you will ever see. They are known as one of the strongest bug species in the world as they roll their giant dung balls all over the place. In this article we’ll answer the question, just how strong are dung beetles?

How Strong Are Dung Beetles?

Overview of dung beetle strength

  • The horned dung beetle is the strongest species and can life 1141 times its own weight
  • Most common species of dung beetles commonly roll dung balls that are 50 times their own weight
  • Dun beetles are among the strongest animals in the world in comparison to their size

Dung beetles are incredibly strong for their size! Most species can roll dung balls that are up to 50 times their own weight. The heaviest dung ball ever recorded weighed in at about 141 grams. That’s the equivalent of a human rolling a car down the street!

Dung beetles get their strength from their large leg muscles. Their back legs are especially muscular, which helps them push the dung balls along. Dung beetles also have special ridges on their wings that help them grip the dung balls as they roll them.

So how do dung beetles manage to roll such heavy dung balls? It’s all about leverage. By positioning themselves underneath the center of the dung ball, they can use their strong leg muscles to lift it and then push it forward. This technique is so effective that some species of dung beetle can roll dung balls that are twice their body weight!

What Allows Them To Be So Strong?

There are several factors that allow dung beetles to be so strong.

  • First of all, they have a very hard exoskeleton. This protects them from being crushed by the weight of the dung they are moving.
  • They also have very strong leg muscles. Their legs are specially adapted for digging and pushing heavy loads.
  • Finally, they have a low center of gravity. This helps them keep their balance when they are carrying or rolling balls of dung that are much larger than their own body.

How Do They Use Their Strength?

Dung beetles are incredibly strong for their size. As mentioned, they can roll dung that is 50 times their own body weight. They use their strength to roll the dung into a ball. Once they have rolled the dung into a ball, they roll it to their nest.

The female beetle will lay her eggs inside the ball of dung. When the larvae hatch, they will have food to eat.

Dung beetles are not only strong, but they are also very fast. They can run as fast as 3 kilometers per hour. This is especially impressive when you consider that most dung beetles only weigh about 10 grams.

The strength and speed of dung beetles has made them one of the most successful groups of insects on the planet. They are found in every continent except Antarctica.

Dung beetle rolls the ball
Dung beetle rolls the ball

Does strength attract mates?

For one, dung beetles are able to mate more frequently than their weaker counterparts. This is because the stronger males are able to defend their mates from other potential suitors. Additionally, strong dung beetles are also better at foraging for food and protecting their young.

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One of the most important benefits of being a strong dung beetle is the ability to mate more frequently. Dung beetles use their strength to fight off other potential mates who may try to take away their current mate.

By doing so, they are able to ensure that they will have the chance to mate and produce offspring. Additionally, strong dung beetles are also better at foraging for food.

They are able to dig deeper into the ground to find food sources that weaker beetles would not be able to reach. Lastly, strong dung beetles are also better at protecting their young. They can provide them with more shelter and defend them from predators.

Dung beetles use their size and strength to impress females and attract mates, so if you’re not big and strong, you may have trouble finding a partner.

Dung Beetle Facts

  1. Dung beetles are incredibly strong for their size. One species can lift objects that are up to 1,141 times their own body weight. This would be the equivalent of an average person lifting six double-decker buses!
  2. Dung beetles are also very fast runners. They can travel at speeds of up to 0.3 meters per second – that’s about as fast as a human can run!
  3. Dung beetles have an amazing navigational system. They use the Milky Way to orient themselves and can even fly in a straight line for over 10 kilometers!
  4. There are over 6,000 different species of dung beetle found all over the world. The biggest dung beetle is the African Goliath beetle, which can grow up to 15 centimeters long and weigh up to 100 grams!


We’ve concluded that dung beetles are extremely strong for their size. They use this strength to their advantage by being able to roll dung balls that are many times their own weight.

While dung beetles are very strong, their size makes them an easy target for predators like birds and lizards. Overall, dung beetles are fascinating creatures that have many unique adaptations that help them thrive in their environment.