An earth-boring dung beetle, one of the family Scarabeidae, about 2cm long, observed in a muddy field.
The companions clustered on its abdomen are not offspring but copper-coloured mites often observed upon this species, reflected in the traditional country name for the beetle: ‘lousy watchman’.
I am sorry the photo is not sharper, but the beetle was scurrying rapidly and people were crossing the area. This is the best of several photos I quickly took. I am grateful for the campers who had first spotted the beetle and stopped to watch it, pointing it out to their children, and so drawing my attention to it too.
Main campsite, Big Tent Festival, Falkland, Fife, Scotland. About 9 a.m. BST, Saturday 25th July 2009.