New Zealand’s endemic dung beetles (Coleoptera: Canthonini): what have we got?

Shaun Forgie *1


1 Landcare Reserarch

New Zealand’s endemic dung beetle fauna is poor as was the taxonomic condition of its members. But what we do have is truly magnificent to a dung beetle enthusiast.   All species are flightless and possess a ball-rolling morphological template. They predominately occupy native forests throughout NZ with very rare forays into fringe and open habitats by a few individuals daring for adventure.  Until recently, nothing was known of their biology, yet they are often recovered from many forest biodiversity and ecological surveys and general collecting mainly with pitfall traps and sifting litter. New Zealand canthonines belong to the genera, Saphobius Sharp 1873, Saphobiamorpha Brooks 1944 and a new genus with 15 species recognised in a current revision. One new genus and species together with a new species of Saphobiamorpha and three new members of Saphobius have been described.   Saphobius brouni Paulian 1935, S. curvipes Broun 1893, S. nitidulus 1890, S. tibialis Broun1895, and S. fuscus Broun 1893 are recognised as synonyms. The single specimen of Saphobius arrowi Paulian1935 isn't a Saphobius, but it is a member of the morphologically similar South African endemic genus Epirinus Reiche 1841.    The remaining valid species are re-described.  This talk presents an overview of the taxa in the revision with some science facts and some pure speculation on the ecology of some of its members.


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