BDeed's picture


Observed: 27th September 2012 By: BDeed
Merseyside BioBankThe Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and
BDeed’s reputation in InvertebratesBDeed’s reputation in InvertebratesBDeed’s reputation in InvertebratesBDeed’s reputation in Invertebrates

This collection of beetle remains was seen at the base of some scrub/trees. They had clearly been collected and eaten here and i was curious as to by what, possibly Robin or Blackbird?
Just around from this collection was a tree stump with 4/5 pine cones picked apart and eaten, would this be the same animal? Or more likely a small mammal/squirrel?


No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


David Jardine's picture

Pellet remains

This collection of beetle remains looks like a pellet from a larger bird than a Robin or Blackbird - possibly a Crow or a Kestrel.

The Pine cones are not likely to have been from the same individuals - do you have photos of the cones? If so, you could post them, as the way they have been 'picked apart' will possibly point to what has eaten them.

All the best

BDeed's picture


Hi David,

I assumed it was too spread out to be a pellet and i am aware of Blackbirds having feeding points/favorite breaking stone, for example for snails.

Unfortunately, i didn't get a picture of the cones before we left so that one shall have to remain a mystery!

Nick Upton's picture

Beetle wings

I thought kestrel pellet first too, maybe broken up after lying around for a while and it may well be that. It could be of mammalian origin too, though, maybe a very old broken-up fox dropping or even, just possibly dung beetle remains left by bats; Long-eared, horseshoe, noctules and serotines are all major beetle hunters and take a lot of cockchafers and dung beetles and when these are common, concentrate on them. Bats often hang in favoured perched to de-wing beetles and thus could conceivably be the origin, especially if this site bordered pastureland, or if there could have been a noctule tree-hole roost nearby... I've not seen this in the UK myself, but have seen piles of dung beetle wings and legs in Taiwan where a very big insectivorous bat Hipposideros terasensis targets large scarab beetles and cicadas. This long pdf has a mention of droppings at a bat roost site (based on what they ingest rather than reject) consisting almost entirely of Aphodius dung beetle remains. Just a thought... I agree the pine cones are more likely separate left-overs.

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.

Darren J. Mann's picture

most likely the remains of

most likely the remains of badger 'dung' containing dor beetle, the soft stuff has been washed away leaving the beetle exoskeletons behind. Badgers have a fondness for dor beetles.

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