Minotaur Beetle

Typhaeus typhoeus

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Beetles
  4. Minotaur Beetle


The Minotaur Beetle is a large, round dung beetle found in sandy grassland and heathland, where it feeds on rabbit droppings and other dung, mainly at night. Adults emerge in autumn, but still need to mature in order to breed, so undergo an intense feeding period. If the weather is mild they may start breeding in early winter. They nest in deep tunnels where they lay their eggs and provide dung for the larvae to feed on; they drag the dung back to their nest using their strong front legs. The males use their 'horns' to defend the nest. By the following summer their cycle is completed and the adults will die to make way for the next generation.

How to identify

The Minotaur Beetle is glossy black, with ridges running down the wing cases. Males are unmistakeable, sporting three 'horns' (two long and one short one in the centre) on their thorax.

Where to find it

Widespread but scarce in England and Wales.


When to find it

  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species, so manage many nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. But these precious sites are under threat from development, intensive agricultural practices and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Minotaur Beetle
Latin name
Typhaeus typhoeus
Length: up to 2cm
Conservation status