The brief was to make a "fantasy or mythical flying insect", to fit into a twelve inch square.
You might imagine that the inspiration for this work came from the 2010 football World Cup, in which the dung beetle had a walk-on part in the opening ceremony. You would be wrong. The inspiration is from Aristophanes' comedy "Peace" of 421 BC in which the dung beetle has a fly-on part.
You can see more details about the construction of the dung beetle and the play.