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Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Family Scarabaeidae - Scarab Beetles

Rhinoceros Beetle ? - Phileurus valgus Yellow beetle - Cotalpa lanigera Dung Beetle - Onthophagus coproides Scarab - Phyllophaga Tomarus gibbosus - Tomarus Masked chafer pair - Cyclocephala Dyscinetus morator or Euetheola rugiceps? - Euetheola rugiceps Trichiotinus  - Trichiotinus affinis
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
Superfamily Scarabaeoidea (Scarab, Stag and Bess Beetles)
Family Scarabaeidae (Scarab Beetles)
Other Common Names
Lamellicorn Beetles
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Several groups formerly treated within Scarabaeidae have been upgraded to family rank [taxonomy discussed in(1)]
Explanation of Names
Scarabaeidae Latreille 1802
The English scarab is derived via French from Latin scarabeus, meaning ‘beetle’(2) –- compare Greek καραβοσ, καραβιοσ ‘a horned beetle,... also a type of crab’; cf. Sanskrit karabha ‘locust’. The words scarab and carabid may be related; a connection of the Latin and Greek words with Egyptian kheprer ‘dung beetle’ (a scarab in the narrow sense; compare Khepri) had been suggested (Partridge 1958)
~28,000 spp. worldwide(1), ~1700 spp. in ~125 genera in the Nearctic region(3)(4), of which ~1400 north of Mexico(5), ~240 in Canada & Alaska(6)
Overview of our faunaFamily SCARABAEIDAE

Subfamily Scarabaeinae

Tribe Onitini Onitis


Tribe Acomini Acoma

Subfamily ONCERINAE Oncerus



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in our area, 2-62 mm; worldwide, up to 160 mm. Dynastes is the heaviest beetle of our fauna
protibia widened, with outer edges toothed
antennae 10- or 9-segmented
last 3-7 antennomeres lamellate, forming a club that can be spread or folded
tarsal formula usually 5-5-5; protarsi may be absent (0-5-5)
Elytra not shortened or widely divergent at apex
Eighth morphological abdominal segment lacking spiracle
Guide to larvae in (7)
worldwide and across NA
Adults take a variety of foods, many feeding on fungus, dung, carrion, or other decomposing matter, some on sap, pollen/nectar, fruit, foliage; a few are agricultural pests, others, important pollinators. Larvae typically feed on decomposing matter: dung, carrion, etc., or live in soil and feed on roots -- some of these are agricultural pests.
Life Cycle
Scarabaeiform larva & pupa
See Also
Tenebrionids may look like dung beetles:
Print References
Menees, J. H. 1957. Sex identification in some larvae of Scarabaeidae. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 52(7): 97-100. (Biodiversity Heritage Library)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Generic Guide to New World Scarab Beetles (by Brett Ratcliffe and Mary Liz Jameson)
2.The Century Dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language
3.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
4.Checklist and Nomenclatural Authority File of the Scarabaeoidea of the Nearctic Realm
5.The Beetles of Northeastern North America, Vol. 1 and 2.
Downie, N.M., and R.H. Arnett. 1996. The Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, FL.
6.Checklist of beetles (Coleoptera) of Canada and Alaska. Second edition
Bousquet Y., Bouchard P., Davies A.E., Sikes D.S. 2013. ZooKeys 360: 1–402.
7.White Grubs and Their Allies, a Study of North American Scarabaeoid Larvae
Paul O. Ritcher. 1966. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis. 219 pp.
8.The Scarab Beetles of Florida
Robert Woodruff. 1973. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
9.The Scarabaeoid Beetles of Nebraska
Brett C. Ratcliffe & M.J. Paulsen. 2008. University of Nebraska State Museum, Vol 22, 570 pp.
10.Scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) of South Carolina
Phillip J. Harpootlian. 2001. Clemson University Public Service.
11.An annotated checklist of the Scarabaeoidea of Texas.
Edward G. Riley & Charles S. Wolfe. 2003. Southwestern Entomologist, Supplement. 37 pp.
12.Beckemeyer R.J. (2003) Dung beetles & their relatives in Kansas: an annotated checklist based on a review of literature