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Genus Phanaeus - Rainbow Scarabs

Scarab Beetle - Phanaeus igneus mislabeled specimen from 1870's (!) - Phanaeus triangularis - female Unknown Rainbow Scarab with parasites - Phanaeus vindex Phanaeus triangularis texensis Edmonds - Phanaeus triangularis - male Phanaeus vindex  - Phanaeus vindex Unknown dung beetle  - Phanaeus triangularis Metallic colored beetle - Phanaeus Black dung beetle with horn - Phanaeus triangularis
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)
Subfamily Scarabaeinae (Dung Beetles)
Tribe Phanaeini
Genus Phanaeus (Rainbow Scarabs)
Explanation of Names
Phanaeus Macleay 1819
Greek for 'light bearer'(1)
7 spp. in our area, 50 total (nearly half of which in Mexico)(2)
P. adonis Harold 1863 - coastal Cameron Co., TX; NE Mexico
P. amithaon Harold 1875 - s. central AZ (low to mid elevations); Mexico
P. difformis LeConte 1847 - s. midwestern US, but most common along coastal TX
P. igneus MacLeay 1819 - coastal se US: LA-FL-VA (3), but most BG records FL n. to VA (BG data)
P. quadridens (Say 1835) - NM, se. AZ (mid-elevations); Mexico
P. triangularis triangularis (Say 1823) - se. US to TX
P. triangularis texensis Edmonds 1994 - TX
P. vindex MacLeay 1819 - e. US west to WY & AZ; Mexico
Large, robust, colorful scarabs. Males often have a prominent horns.
See: Edmonds (1994) - discussion of P. vindex, P. igneus, and P. difformis starts on page 83.(3)
Key to three SC species (triangularis, vindex, igneus) in Harpootlian (2001)(4)
e US to AZ (BG data)
adults feed on mammalian dung(2)
Life Cycle
Adults of P. vindex excavate a cavity and form a dung ball underneath a dung mass, as opposed to rolling it away, as do other scarabs. (See Univ. of Nebraska page.) Eggs are laid on this dung ball.
Print References
Edmonds, W.D. 1994. Revision of Phanaeus Macleay, a New World genus of Scarabaeine dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae). Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Contributions in Science 443: 1-105, 360 figs. (3)
Works Cited
1.An illustrated descriptive catalogue of the Coleoptera or beetles (exclusive of the Rhynchophora) known to occur in Indiana.
Blatchley, W. S. 1910. Indianapolis,Nature Pub. Co.
2.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.
3.Revision of Phanaeus MacLeay, A New World genus of scarabaeine dung beetles
Edmonds, W.D. 1994. 1994. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Contributions to Science 443.
4.Scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) of South Carolina
Phillip J. Harpootlian. 2001. Clemson University Public Service.