Strategies to deal with global radiation may be related to important aspects of species biology and ecology by reflecting, transmitting or absorbing the radiation of varying wavelengths differently. The elytra capacity to manage infrared, visible and ultraviolet radiations (from 185 to 1400 nm) was assessed with a spectrophotometric analysis in five Canthon species of dung beetles; we calculated the reflectance, transmittance and absorbance capacity of the elytra of these species. These species have different ecologies: two species preferentially inhabit forest areas (Canthon angularis and Canthon lividus lividus), two species preferentially inhabit open areas (Canthon chalybaeus and Canthon tetraodon) including agricultural crops, and one species does not present a clear habitat preference and can be found in both habitats (Canthon quinquemaculatus). All the species show a similar pattern in which the light from shorter wavelengths and higher frequencies is almost entirely absorbed by the elytra, while radiation from longer wavelengths and lower frequencies can mostly pass through the elytra. However, C. quinquemaculatus seems to have significantly higher rates of reflectance and transmittance in the visible- and near-infrared spectrum. This different pattern found in C. quinquemaculatus may be associated with its capacity to establish populations both in agricultural and forest areas.