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Minotaur Beetle

Minotaur Beetle Facts

Size 0.6-0.9 in (15-24 mm)
Speed Unknown
Weight Unknown
Lifespan 2-3 years
Food Dung
Predators Birds, snakes
Habitat Europe, northern Africa
Order Beetles
Suborder Polyphaga
Family Earth-boring dung beetles
Scientific name Typhaeus typhoeus
Characteristics Strong grooves, males have horns

Main Characteristics

The minotaur beetle belongs to the family of earth-boring dung beetles. This shiny, black beetle might not be the monster from Greek mythology but it gets its scientific name from the monster Typhon, a giant with a hundred dragon or snake heads.

Minotaur Beetle Minotaur Beetle - Photo: Marek R. Swadzba/Shutterstock

Anatomy and Appearance

Males Have Antlers

It’s very easy to tell the males and females apart. The males have some kind of antlers, or horn-like growths protruding from their neck plate.


Minotaur Beetle Minotaur Beetle - Photo: Marek R. Swadzba/Shutterstock


Minotaur beetles feed on the dung of animals like rabbits, sheep and deer.

Enemies and Threats

Minotaur Beetles Are a Protected Species

In general, earth-boring dung beetles are not endangered. But minotaur beetles have become rare in Germany, so they have been placed under protection.

Fun Facts

Minotaur Beetles Are Rarely Seen

Unlike the dor beetle, the minotaur beetle is a rare sight. The entrances to their tunnel systems are, however, easy to see. These are small, round openings of around 0.4 inch (1 cm) in diameter.

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