Two New Species of Scarab Beetles Discovered in Southern Africa

Posted on October 23, 2013

G perissinottoi scarab beetle

Two new species of scarab beetles have been discovered in Southern Africa. The beetles belong to the flightless genus, Gyronotus. The new species G. perissinottoi and G. schuelei both inhabit grasslands/savannas, while most of the other known species in the genus prefer forest habitats. G. perissinottoi (pictured above) is found in the Umthamvuna Nature Reserve, a small biodiverse area in southern KwaZulu-Natal. G. schuelei (pictured below) originates from western Swaziland.

G schuelei scarab beetle

Dr. Moretto and Dr. Perissinotto, the authors of the study, said in the announcement, "The genus Gyronotus is part of the tribe Canthonini, which has long been recognised as a relict of the ancient supercontinent Gondwanaland. Members of the genus are also wingless and particularly vulnerable to environmental disturbance. Thus, they are undoubtedly of substantial biodiversity and conservation value, with status ranging from vulnerable to critically endangered."

The research was published here in the journal, ZooKeys.

Photos: Lynette Clennell (top)/Mickael Francois (second)

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