Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Professor of Ecology



+44 (0)20 7594 2223r.ewers




1.4Centre for Population BiologySilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Marsh, CJ and Louzada, J and Beiroz, W and Ewers, RM},
doi = {10.1371/journal.pone.0073147},
journal = {PLoS One},
title = {Optimising bait for pitfall trapping of Amazonian dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae).},
url = {},
volume = {8},
year = {2013}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The accurate sampling of communities is vital to any investigation of ecological processes and biodiversity. Dung beetles have emerged as a widely used focal taxon in environmental studies and can be sampled quickly and inexpensively using baited pitfalls. Although there is now a wealth of available data on dung beetle communities from around the world, there is a lack of standardisation between sampling protocols for accurately sampling dung beetle communities. In particular, bait choice is often led by the idiosyncrasies of the researcher, logistic problems and the dung sources available, which leads to difficulties for inter-study comparisons. In general, human dung is the preferred choice, however, it is often in short supply, which can severely limit sampling effort. By contrast, pigs may produce up to 20 times the volume. We tested the ability of human and pig dung to attract a primary forest dung beetle assemblage, as well as three mixes of the two baits in different proportions. Analyses focussed on the comparability of sampling with pig or human-pig dung mixes with studies that have sampled using human dung. There were no significant differences between richness and abundance sampled by each bait. The assemblages sampled were remarkably consistent across baits, and ordination analyses showed that the assemblages sampled by mixed dung baits were not significantly different from that captured by pure human dung, with the assemblages sampled by 10% and 90% pig mixes structurally most similar to assemblages sampled by human dung. We suggest that a 10:90 human:pig ratio, or similar, is an ideal compromise between sampling efficiency, inter-study comparability and the availability of large quantities of bait for sampling Amazonian dung beetles. Assessing the comparability of assemblage samples collected using different baits represents an important step to facilitating large-scale meta-analyses of dung beetle assemblages collected using non-standard methodology.
AU - Marsh,CJ
AU - Louzada,J
AU - Beiroz,W
AU - Ewers,RM
DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0073147
PY - 2013///
TI - Optimising bait for pitfall trapping of Amazonian dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae).
T2 - PLoS One
UR -
UR -
VL - 8
ER -