greater sandy dung beetle
Family: Scarabaeidae Subfamily: Scarabaeinae Genus: Euoniticellus Species: Euoniticellus africanus (Harold, 1873)
Total body length 7.0–13.0 cm (0.26–0.51 in). Body oblong, somewhat dorsoventrally compressed; may be caked in dung. Color tan to grayish-brown with dark brown markings. Clypeus with distinct ridge at anterior margin in male; anterior ridge lacking in female. Frontoclypeal suture with inverted V-shaped ridge in male; female lacking ridge. Ocular canthus quadrately produced. Pronotum of male somewhat hump-like when viewed laterally. Tibia of female robust; male tibia comparatively gracile.
Undescribed: For Scarabaeinae (Ritcher, 1966): Grub C-shaped, hump-backed, cylindrical, and cream-colored. Maxilla with galea and lacinia distinctly separate. Antennae with 4 or 5 apparent segments. Distal segment of antenna much reduced in size. Epipharynx with tormae united mesally, anterior phoba present. Legs 2-segmented. Anal opening surrounded by fleshy lobes.
Southern Africa. This species is native to southern Africa where it is known from Lesotho, Mozambique, and South Africa (Tyndale-Biscoe, 1990). It has been introduced to Australia (Tyndale-Biscoe, 1990).
Poorly known. Adults of this species prefer a slightly cooler climate than the related intermediate sandy dung beetle (Euoniticellus intermedius) (Edwards, 2007). In related species of Euoniticellus, adults are diurnal dung tunnelers (Blume, 1984). Working together, a male and female dig a burrow beneath a dung source. Dung is used to line the burrow and create a brood mass. The brood mass is created at the end of the burrow and impregnated with a single egg. Multiple brood masses, each with its own egg, can occupy the same burrow. Larvae develop within the mass where they feed on the dung (Blume, 1984).
None. This species recycles dung and is beneficial for ranching and farming in Hawaii. Being a dung feeder, this species poses no threat to crop or ornamental plants. Additionally, this species is not a threat to native dung beetles because none are known from Hawaii or Guam.
Established. This dung beetle was intentionally released in 1974 at Parker Ranch on Big Island to help control populations of the horn fly (Haematobia irritans), a biting pest of livestock (Nakao and Funasaki, 1976). Nishida (2002) reported it as being established on the Big Island.
Not established or recorded. There are no records of this species from Guam.
In Hawaii, this species was intentionally introduced.
The greater sandy dung beetle (Euoniticellus africanus) is one of two Euoniticellus species known from Hawaii, the other recorded species being the very similar intermediate sandy dung beetle (Euoniticellus intermedius). The two scarabs can be separated by examination of the frons (E. africanus male lacking a horn and female with a V-shaped anterior ridge versus E. intermedius male with a horn on frons and female with slightly curved transverse ridge on the frons).
Oniticellus africanus Harold
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