Rainbow Scarab

Phanaeus vindex

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Photo of a rainbow scarab beetle, male.
Although most dung beetles are dull black, the rainbow scarab is bright metallic green and copper.
Family

Scarabaeidae (scarab beetles) in the order Coleoptera (beetles)

Description

Although most dung beetles are dull black, the rainbow scarab is a living jewel of bright metallic green and copper. They are large (about ¾ inch long), stocky, and strong. Males have a backward-pointing horn on the top of the head. Unlike many other dung beetles, this species buries its dung ball beneath the mass of poop, instead of rolling it away from the pile. It has distinctive orange antennae with leaflike plates that can be pressed together or fanned apart, and a single spur just above the "foot" of the hind legs. The forelegs are strong and well-clawed, perfect for digging.

Learn more about the rainbow scarab and other dung beetles in their group entry.

Size

Length: ½–¾ inch.