Data from: Brood ball-mediated transmission of microbiome members in the dung beetle, Onthophagus taurus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

Anne M. Estes, David J. Hearn, Emilie C. Snell-Rood, Michele Feindler, Karla Feeser, Tselotie Abebe, Julie C. Dunning Hotopp & Armin P. Moczek
Insects feeding on plant sap, blood, and other nutritionally incomplete diets are typically associated with mutualistic bacteria that supplement missing nutrients. Herbivorous mammal dung contains more than 86% cellulose and lacks amino acids essential for insect development and reproduction. Yet one of the most ecologically necessary and evolutionarily successful groups of beetles, the dung beetles (Scarabaeinae) feeds primarily, or exclusively, on dung. These associations suggest that dung beetles may benefit from mutualistic bacteria that provide...
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