The genus Phanaeus, comprising of 51 different known species to this day, can be found anywhere from Argentina, all the way up to southern points of the Midwest here in the United States (Price & May 2009).  Within Phanaeus, these different species also inhabit several different habitats, from tropical rainforest, which seem to withhold the highest number of Phanaeus, to broadleaf or coniferous forests, to savannas, grasslands, and even semi desert like regions (Edmonds 1994).  The species Phanaeus vindex is most abundant here in the United States and can be found in the majority of the different sorts of habitats as listed above, from the grass parries of Kansas, to the dry desert like regions in Arizona, to the more forest like habitats in Virginia.  Something unique and interesting is that the P. vindex found to the north seem to have a darker shade or color than those that live in the southern portions of the United States (Edmonds 1993).
Accessed from Wikimedia Commons       Considering these beetles live in the ground, it has been found that P. vindex seem to prefer more clay like soil, as opposed to more loose and sandy soil (Blume & Aga 1978).  Another large factor that plays a role in where P. vindex beetles live is where there is a high abundance of food, just every other animal out there.  Since P. vindex can also be referred to as a species of dung beetle, it is not unknown by most that they feed on feces of other animals.  It has been discovered through research that P. vindex prefer herbivore feces, and specifically swine feces (Blume & Aga 1978).  Therefore, we can assume higher populations of these beetles can be found near regions where there is a higher abundance of pigs or hogs. This could be one contributor as to why there is such a high population of them in the southern states, where there is a much higher number of wild hogs and other species of pigs.  It can be assumed that the majority of the pig feces that these beetles feed on are from pigs that live on farms.  For more on what farmers grow in these regions visit this website. If pigs peak your interest, take a look at this website

         Now, within these regions, these dung beetles live inside a simple burrow in the ground.  Often times during the dry seasons, or in the colder months, the beetles will stay under ground in their burrows until the warmer and rainier months.  During the times that they are active, the burrows serve as a safety spot from predators and for eating the dung.  When the beetles find feces to feed on, they create their burrows, and push the feces into the hole or burrow.  The space in which they stay under the ground is referred to as the gallery (Price & May 2009), which is usually closed off from the entrance of the hole with bits and pieces of dirt and soil.  With the burrow closed up, and feces in the burrow, the beetles do not have to worry about predators, or other feces feeding organisms invading their homes and either eating them or their food.  With a substantial amount of food, the beetles can stay under the ground for a relatively long time, sometimes upwards of 2 or 3 months (Price & May 2009).  All in all P. vindex is a rather unique species of Phanaeus, given the fact that though they may prefer more clay like soil, it does not restrict them from living in all sorts of different regions and different types of habitat.

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