Scope and background

With this tool, you can

  • easily identify adult and immature scarab beetles including established pest species and potential new invasive scarab species;
  • view images for 70+ foreign scarabs, including similar-looking species and diagnostic features;
  • confirm that a scarab beetle adult or larva is not a new invasive pest species using DNA diagnostics;
  • access host plant information, pest potential, dispersal pathways, and distribution for scarabs.

Scarabs from every corner of the globe are represented in Hawaii and Guam. Lack of taxonomic expertise and lack of global knowledge of scarab fauna greatly impedes identification of these species as well as newly introduced species. In Hawaii, the recent introduction of invasive scarab species such as the coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros), Asian flower beetle (Protaetia orientalis), and southwestern masked chafer (Cyclocephala pasadenae) made clear the need for development of a platform that allows for diagnosis by quarantine personnel, inspectors, extension entomologists, and citizen scientists with a user-friendly identification tool designed for non-specialists as well as specialists. This tool allows easy identification of adult and immature life stages of established pest species and potential new invasive scarab species.

This interactive tool includes scarab beetles that are of biosecurity risk, such as the Chinese rose beetle (Adoretus sinicus) and the coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros), as well as scarab beetles that are beneficial recyclers of cattle dung, such as the gazelle dung beetle (Digitonthophagus gazella) and tumble bugs. The scarab and stag beetle fauna of Hawaii is of global origin, with non-native species hailing from Australia, Africa, North America, Asia, and Europe. Only five stag beetles are native to Hawaii, and these are greatly in need of conservation and study. Guam is a key introduction pathway for many species that have been introduced to Hawaii. This tool may also be useful in other geographic regions that may be impacted by invasive scarab beetles, including Florida, California, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and the American Pacific. It is designed for people with varying degrees of knowledge, from outdoor enthusiasts to research scientists.

Hawaiian Scarab ID: Scarab and Stag Beetles of Hawaii and the Pacific contains an interactive key, fact sheets, an image gallery, an anatomy guide, and several videos of scarab behavior, along with a wealth of background information. The interactive key allows you to select diagnostic characters and generate a list of species that possess those features. You can retrieve detailed fact sheets with images (adult males and females), diagnoses, key traits, larval traits, maps, and host data. For tips on scarab identification, see the identifying scarabs page. For tips on using the interactive key, please see the key tips page. The image gallery provides filters that allow for comparison of scarab species. The glossary provides definitions and illustrations of terms. In addition, a mobile app for smartphones and tablets is in development.

We have also developed a mobile app version of the key and fact sheets. Once downloaded onto your smartphone or tablet, this Lucid Mobile app works without an internet connection, allowing you to to use the key and fact sheets even in remote areas. The app is available for free for Android at the Google Play Store and for iOS at the App Store.