Two New Species of Dung Beetles Discovered in Mexico

Posted on March 15, 2016

Onthophagus clavijeroi and Onthophagus martinpierai

An international team of researchers have discovered two new species of dung beetles in Mexico. The research team was led by Dr. Gonzalo Halffter. The beetles were found in montane forests disturbed by livestock grazing. The location is the mountainous regions of El Pinal (Puebla, Mexico).

The new beetles have been named Onthophagus clavijeroi (left in the above image) and Onthophagus martinpierai (right). The image below shows the mountain habitat where the beetles were found.

The new beetles were first discovered by Victor Moctezuma, a student of Dr Gonzalo's at the Instituto de EcologĂ­a of Mexico. Moctezuma says in a statement, "I was carrying out sampling for my Masters Degree studies, but I had no idea that new dung beetles could be found in a forest that is disturbed by human activities, such as livestock grazing and land-use change. So I was really surprised when I discovered three dung beetle species."

One of the beetle species had already been identified through a previous publication. The other two species are new to science. A research paper on the new dung beetles was published here in the journal ZooKeys.

Habit of new dung beetles in Mexico


Photos: Victor Moctezuma, Alfonso Aceves Aparicio and Michele Rossini