New Scarab Beetle Species Discovered in Cambodia

Posted on July 18, 2015

Termitotrox venus

Scientists have discovered a new beetle species in Cambodia. The new species belongs to the Termitotrox genus. Most of the specimens were found in the fungus garden cells of a termite species. One of the beetles is pictured above walking on the wall of a termite nest.

The new beetle species has been named Termitotrox venus after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The species is closely related to T. cupido, which was discovered in 2012. T. cupido is named after Cupid. They are the only two known members of the Termitotrox in the Indo-Chinese subregion. T. venus is the larger of the two species.

The researchers say the beetles found in the termite nest were camouflaged and moving very slowly. This made them hard to collect. The researchers say the termites are generally indifferent to the beetles. Sometimes the termites treat the beetles amicably.

The research was led by Mr. Kakizoe and Dr. Maruyama from the Kyushu University in Japan. A research paper on the beetle discovery can be found here in the journal, ZooKeys.

Photo: Dr. Munetoshi Maruyama