Understanding pattern and process at both regional and local scales is important for conservation planning although such knowledge of insects is frequently lacking. To assess patterns along a regional gradient of increasing aridity and diminishing food resources in the Botswana Kalahari, Scarabaeine dung beetles were sampled quantitatively using four dung types at three local sites in six regional areas. At regional scale, factor analysis of species abundance extracted a maximum of six factors, each dominated by a single area. Therefore, the statistical significance of regional spatial variation far outweighed that of dung type association. At local scale, six factor analyses of species abundance extracted from four to six factors. The importance of local dung type associations was relatively high but diminished with increasing local spatial heterogeneity. At regional scale, hierarchical analysis of oblique factors divided assemblages into unique local and shared regional components. Primary extended factors accounted for 40–50 % of unique local faunal composition in five out of six areas. Two secondary extended factors showed either high shared proportional contribution to regional assemblage structure in the northeast with a steep decline to the southwest, or an opposite trend. Their point of intersection was consistent with a boundary zone between mesic northeast and arid southwest faunal components in the central Kalahari. Despite some inconsistencies in rank position between regression methods, rainfall, temperature, and mammal density/diversity were the strongest influences on regional patterns defined by secondary factors. Patterns are discussed according to conservation and changes in land usage around reserves.