ORIGINAL ARTICLES Effect of dung beetles, Scarabaeus sacer (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) on certain biochemical contents of leaves and fruits of tomato and squash plants

Hamdy Hanafy, Hamdy Hanafy
2012 Journal of Applied Sciences Research   unpublished
Nutrient elements and total proteins content in leaves and fruits of tomato and squash plants as affected by the activity of dung beetles, Scarabaeus sacer (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) were determined. Two sizes of dung beetles were considered, large and small beetles measuring 35 mm and 20 mm in length, respectively, as well as the number of beetles included in the soil mixed with dung. Generally, the activity of dung beetles in the soil mixed with dung increased nitrogen, phosphorous,
more » ... sphorous, potassium, calcium and magnesium or total proteins content in dry leaves and fruits. These contents were always higher in the presence of dung beetles as compared to the control (where no beetles were introduced in the soil). Also, large dung beetles were more effective than small beetles in increasing plant elements or total proteins and the fewer number of pairs in the tested soil led to the higher level of nutrients and total proteins. Furthermore, elements of plant content and total proteins were the highest when one pair of large beetle was considered followed by two large beetles and then gradually decreased in the following investigation.