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Onthophagus taurus

Resource Type
Common Name
Bull-headed Dung beetle

The dung beetle genus Onthophagus comprises with over 2,400 extant species the most speciose genus within the animal kingdom. O. taurus itself is the most studied dung beetle and a focal taxon for studies in evolutionary ecology, evolutionary genetics, behavioral ecology, evo-devo and developmental genetics. Like many species within the genus it features extreme secondary sexual traits (horns) and extreme sexual dimorphism (cued by sex-specific development). At the same time this species possesses an equally remarkable (and representative) male dimorphism (cued entirely by larval nutrition) in which large males express huge horns which they use as weapons in male combat, whereas small males remain hornless, non-aggressive, and instead invest into enlarged testes and ejaculates. Onthophagus beetle are emerging as a model system in evodevo and ecodevo, in particular with respect to the evolutionary developmental genetics of plasticity, pattern formation, trait integration, and growth regulation. Extensive transcriptomic data already exist for this as well as other species, alongside a growing number of functional studies using larval RNAi-mediated transcript depletion, which works easily and routinely across diverse species within the genus. Data were generated by the Baylor College of Medicine's i5k pilot project(link is external). View the Baylor College of Medicine's data sharing policy(link is external).

Genome update. Previously, the i5k Workspace@NAL hosted Otaur.scaffolds.fa, BCM version 0.5.3 and Funtional annotation of BCM veriosn 0.5.3. The assembly and annotations have updated to the most recent assembly, Onthophagus taurus genome assembly Otau_2.0 (GCF_000648695.1) (, NCBI Onthophagus taurus Annotation Release 100 (, and Functional annotations of NCBI Onthophagus taurus Annotation Release 100 (

Organism Image
Onthophagus taurus
Image Credit
NameProgramDate Constructed
Whole genome assembly of Onthophagus taurusBaylor College of Medicine genome assembly pipelineJan 29th, 2014
Annotation v0.5.3 of the Onthophagus taurus assembly using MAKER (Baylor College of Medicine)MAKERJul 10th, 2014
Functional annotation of Onthophagus taurus BCM version 0.5.3AgBase functional annotation pipelineJun 4th, 2022
Onthophagus taurus genome assembly Otau_2.0 (GCF_000648695.1)AllPaths LG v. 44620; Atlas Link v. 1.0; Atlas GapFill v. 2.2; redundans v. 0.12cOct 31st, 2017
NCBI Onthophagus taurus Annotation Release 100NCBI Eukaryotic Genome Annotation PipelineNov 24th, 2017
Functional annotation of NCBI Onthophagus taurus Annotation Release 100AgBase functional annotation pipelineNov 1st, 2023
Onthophagus taurus community annotationsManual annotation, LiftOff v1.6.3, GFF3toolkit v2.1.0Jan 11th, 2024
Assembly Stats
Contig N50
Scaffold N50
GC Content
Other Information
Community Contact
Armin Moczek|