Anoplotrupes stercorosus and Trypocopris vernalis are typical European forest earth-boring dung beetles.
This paper presents the first detailed observations on these species in relation to medium-sized carrion decomposing in forest habitats. We analysed how season, forest type and smell of decay affect their numbers. The study was conducted as a part of a large-scale forensically oriented experiment on insect succession and carrion decomposition in forests of Central Europe. During spring, summer and autumn 2006, 18 pig carcasses were studied for necrophilous entomofauna in three forest habitats (pine-oak forest, hornbeam-oak forest and alder forest). We showed that both season and forest types significantly affect abundances of A. stercorosus and T. vernalis. Most individuals of A. stercorosus were collected in hornbeam-oak forest in spring and the lowest in alder forest in autumn. Abundance of T. vernalis was the highest in summer and lowest in autumn, but differences in its numbers between hornbeam-oak forest and pine-oak forest were not statistically significant. Smell of decay significantly affected abundances of both species. The stronger the odor, the higher were the numbers of beetles observed.