So today a box full of dung beetles arrived right as I was supposed to meet a professor about the class I am TAing next semester (Onthophagus nigriventris for those who want specifics)
I ended up transferring all 300 to two buckets (with the help of our post-doc) and wasting pretty much all of our “clean” dirt in the process because I thought we had more dung
then my advisor comes by while I am in the meeting I was then late for, and turns out I have to individually separate the beetles into tubes
so we ended up digging through the poop to find all the beetles, and put a male and a few females into their own little tubes
except it is impossible to tell a small male from a female with the naked eye (big males have giant horns) and even with a taxonomic key and hundreds of pinned specimens, the post-doc and I are still unsure we could tell them apart.
when I bring this up, I am sure I will eventually be moving all the beetles back into the original buckets
all I can smell right now is cow poop