Entomologist Dr. Kevin Floate aims to answer ‘what critters are found in a cow patty?’ and ‘what do they do?’ His hope is to spark the interest of ranchers and farmers, and to stir the minds of students studying insects. In his own words, ‘This is the guide I wish I had when I started my career.’
Insects serve an outsized role in many ecosystem services. For dung on Canadian pastures, there are over 300 species of insects helping to break down and cycle nutrients through the soil and food webs. Understanding what insects are present in a cow patty provides insights into livestock health and ecological processes.
This new 224-page, full color guide provides the ‘doorway’ to learn more about the critters one can find in cow dung: how to identify them, how they can be beneficial, and additional information on the biology and morphology of multiple insect groups. Also included is an extensive reference list for those who wish to pursue detailed insect identification.