Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Until recently treated as a subfamily of Scarabaeidae
55 spp. in 11 genera in the Nearctic(1)(2)
Odonteus - 10 species, generally distributed, most in the east
Eucanthus - 5 species, generally distributed, most in the east
Bradycinetulus - 3 species, eastern/central US
Bolbocerastes - 3 species, western US
Bolbocerosoma - 10 species, eastern/central US
Bolbelasmus - x species, western US
Bolborhombus - x species, western US
Geotrupes - 9 species, US, except far western states
Mycotrupes - 5 species, SE US
Peltotrupes - 2 species, Florida endemics
Ceratophyus - 1 species, C. gopherinus, California endemic
Eleven-segmented antennae, unlike the Scarabs which have fewer segments.
Bodies are stout and often hemispherical.
(left): Antennal club small, body largely black with or without metallic sheen
(right): Antennal club large, body brown, some with black markings
These beetles spend most of their lives in burrows one to four feet down, often under dung or carrion.
Larvae feed on dung or carrion. Adults feed on dung or fungi, or do not feed at all.
Howden H.F. (1955) The biology and taxonomy of the North American beetles of the subfamily Geotrupinae with revisions of the genera Bolbocerosoma, Eucanthus, Geotrupes
, and Peltotrupes
(Scarabaeidae). Proceedings of the United States National Museum 104: 151-319. (3)
Generic Guide to New World Scarab Beetles--Geotrupidae