Dung beetle game strategies

Over the last few posts Ru and I have thought a bit more about each insect in turn and brainstormed some game strategies based on the insect and its behaviour!

Our third and final insect is the poo-loving dung beetle…


When working out your game strategy, a lot will depend on which insect you choose and which part of their life-cycle or behaviour you focus on. Here are some facts about Mayflies and some game strategy suggestions based on the facts.

Remember to think about: How players will win, and what do they have to do to come out on top?

  • The objective might be to find and uncover a stash of food before the other players.
  • Or if the objective is to avoid predators, the winner will be the player who manages to survive to the end.

Dung beetles are coprophagous insects, meaning they eat the poo of other creatures! Although not all dung beetles just eat dung, they all eat feces (poo) at some point in their lives.

These beetles clear and recycle poo to feed plants and also stop parasites that could otherwise harm people and animals from breeding. Dung beetles also spread seeds into the soil, helping to create a healthy ecosystem.

So… could your strategy focus on collecting poo in order to feed trees and grow a healthy forest?

There is some amazing information here about what dung beetles do to create healthy rainforests!


Not all dung beetles roll dung into balls. Some dung beetles just live within the dung they find, often cow pats.

The earth-boring dung beetles tunnel below the dung pile, making a burrow that can then be easily filled with dung.

So… could your game strategy include all three types of dung beetle behaviour?

Could you choose at the start of the game which type of dung beetle you are, and this would change how you can play the game and which route around the board you can travel?


Dung beetles are also unusual because they look after their young. Dung beetles are one of the few groups of insects that look after their young; making a nest and filling it with food for the larvae.

But in some species, both parents share child care duties, with the male and female working together to dig their nests. Certain dung beetles even mate for life!

So… could your board game strategy be about collecting enough dung to feed larvae? Or even working together with another player as a team?

Could your board be on two levels, one to collect food dung and then once enough dung is collected players can move on to the second level which could be the underground tunnels?


We hope you’ve enjoyed these amazing facts about our three insects, and learnt a little about why they are important for our ecosystems! Most of all we hope you have some good ideas for your competition board games!

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