brown dung beetle, gazelle scarab, gazelle dung beetle
Family: Scarabaeidae Subfamily: Scarabaeinae Genus: Digitonthophagus Species: Digitonthophagus gazella (Fabricius, 1787)
DNA barcode available: specimen information
Total body length 10.0–13.0 mm (0.39–0.51 in). Body shape oval; may be caked in dung. Color brown to dark-brown; margin of pronotum tan. Medium-sized Onthophagus-like dung beetle, more than 10 mm. Clypeal apex weakly sinuate; not strongly produced in either sex. Head of male with 2 short, upward curving horns at base; minor male with horns reduced or absent; female lacking horns, instead with transverse ridge. Ocular canthus completely dividing eye. Pronotum with anterior angle rounded. Pronotum lacking horns; male with weak hump-like process; minor male and female with weak bi-lobed process. Tibia of male elongated, gracile; female tibia comparatively stout. Scutellum absent.
(Huerta et al., 2010): Grub C-shaped, hump-backed, cylindrical, and cream-colored. Maxilla with galea and lacinia distinctly separate. Lacinia with 2–6 dorsobasal setae. Labium hypopharynx glossa with 9–15 latero-posterior setae; 13–32 setae on lateral lobe. Epipharynx with tormae united mesally, anterior phoba present. Chaetoparia with 10 setae. Antennae 4-segmented, distal segment much reduced. Legs 2-segmented. Prothoracic shield without anteriorly projecting processes. Third abdominal segment bearing a prominent conical, dorsal gibbosity covered with numerous short, stout setae.
Africa. This dung beetle is native to hot, arid, and semi-arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa (Tyndale-Biscoe, 1990). This species was introduced to Texas in 1970 and has spread (sometimes with deliberate human intervention) throughout much of the southern half of the U.S., southward to Uruguay and Argentina (Noriega et al., 2010). It was introduced to Australia (Tyndale-Biscoe, 1990).
None. This species feeds on dung as both an adult and larva. There are no records of this beetle feeding on live plant tissues.
(Tyndale-Biscoe, 1990): Adults of this species live about 2 months, flying from sunrise to sunset in search of dung. In areas of moist, loose soil, females construct a burrow 20–25 cm (7.87–9.84 in) under or near a dung source. The burrow is provisioned with dung formed into oval-shaped brood balls. Each brood ball is impregnated with a single egg. Development from egg to adult can take as little as 3–5 weeks under optimal conditions. Development often takes much longer when the conditions are less favorable. There are multiple generations per year.
None. This species recycles dung and is beneficial for ranching and farming in Hawaii. Primarily being a dung feeder, this species has never been recorded damaging crop or ornamental plants. Additionally, this species is not a threat to native dung beetles because none occur in Hawaii or Guam.
Established. In Hawaii, this species was introduced to Oahu in 1957 (Davis, 1960) and on Big Island in 1973 at Parker Ranch (Nakao et al., 1975). Further introductions occurred on Kauai and Maui, though it is unclear if those introductions took place in 1957 or 1973 (Markin and Yoshioka, 1998). In much of Hawaii, this species is usually most abundant at lower elevations. It is one of the most common dung beetles on Oahu (Harris et al., 1982), Kauai, and Maui (Markin and Yoshioka, 1998).
Not established or recorded. There are no records of this species from Guam.
In Hawaii, this species was intentionally imported.
Major males are readily separated by examining the head armature (D. gazella with 2 short, upward curving horns versus O. nigriventris lacking horns, O. sagittarius with 2 tusk-like horns).
Scarabaeus gazella Fabricius, Onthophagus antelope Fabricius, Onthophagus catta Fabricius, Onthophagus dorcas Olivier, Onthophagus gazella Fabricius, Onthophagus intermedius Reiche, Onthophagus metallicus Fabricius
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