• Chamela;
  • dung beetles;
  • Scarabaeinae;
  • temporal variability;
  • tropical dry forest


  • 1
    Dung beetles are increasingly being used as a focal taxon in biodiversity and conservation studies. One of the alleged advantages of these insects is that sampling conducted in a few days can yield accurate data.
  • 2
    Dung beetles were collected twice, within a week, in a tropical dry forest in Mexico. The abundance of one species, Onthophagus landolti, increased 16 times in one of the habitats, over a period of a few days. Consequently, conclusions regarding differences between both habitats differed greatly depending on which sampling period was considered.
  • 3
    Short-term temporal variability in the abundance of dung beetles, particularly if spatially asymmetric, must carefully be considered when designing sampling protocols for this group of insects in dry tropical forests.