Tragiscus dimidiatus, photographed by Udo Schmidt.

Belongs within: Scarabaeinae.

The Oniticellini are a tribe of dung beetles found in most parts of the world except Australia. Most oniticellin genera are tunnelers, burrowing alongside dung to bury it in place. Two genera, Tragiscus and Oniticellus, are unique among scarabaeines in constructing nests directly within dung rather than in external burrows (Philips et al. 2004).

Synapomorphies (from Philips et al. 2004): Wing with distinct and distally truncate to slightly emarginate pigmentation apically; costal margin at wing base without fine striae; epipharynx with anterior median dorsal processtruncate but narrowly widened at apex; maxilla with galea approximately transverse; labium with two palpomeres; lateral edge of mentum slightly sinuate with a shallow notch posterior of middle; longitudinal arms of labium adjacent to distal transverse bridge with narrow parallel-sided arms extending out laterally from triangular base; lateral cervical sclerite with setal brush located mesally near apex short; seventh and eighth antennomeres with small cavity on anterior surface; anterior edge of approximately ventrally directed anterior transverse plate on prescutum narrowly pointed; scutum-scutellum on one level; scutellum width apically 2.0× length; pygidium with transverse ridge absent, dark pigment present at base; genital capsule with transverse darkened portion on ventral plate; sternal region with furcal arm tip projected laterally.

    |--Helictopleurus d’Orbigny 1915 [incl. Heterosyphus Paulian 1975; Helictopleurina] P16
    |    |--H. giganteus P16
    |    |--H. neoamplicollis P16
    |    |--H. quadripunctatus P16
    |    `--H. sicardi [=Heterosyphus sicardi] P16
    `--+--Attavicina P16
       |    |--Attavicinus Philips & Bell 2008 P16
       |    |    `--A. monstrosus P16
       |    `--Paroniticellus Balthasar 1963 P16
       |         `--P. festivus P16
       `--+--Liatongus Reitter 1893 [Liatongina] P16
          |    |--*L. phanaeoides (Westwood 1839) [=Oniticellus phanaeoides] CW92
          |    |--L. californicus P16
          |    |--L. militaris (Castelnau 1840) [=Oniticellus militaris] CW92
          |    `--L. rhinocerulus P16
          `--+--Drepanocerina P16
             |    |--Drepanocerus Kirby 1828 PPS04, P16
             |    |    `--D. reconditus L88
             |    |--Afrodrepanus Krikken 2009 P16
             |    |    `--A. impressicollis P16
             |    |--Clypeodrepanus Kirkken 2009 P16
             |    |--Cyptochirus Lesne 1900 P16
             |    |    `--C. ambiguous P16
             |    |--Drepanoplatynus Boucomont 1921 P16
             |    |--Eodrepanus Barbero, Palestrini & Roggero 2009 P16
             |    |--Epidrepanus Roggero, Barbero & Palestrini 2015 P16
             |    |--Ixodina Roth 1851 P16
             |    |--Paraixodina Roggero, Barbero & Palestrini 2015 P16
             |    |--Latodrepanus Krikken 2009 P16
             |    |--Sinodrepanus Simonis 1985 P16
             |    `--Tibiodrepanus Krikken 2009 P16
             `--Oniticellina P16
                  |  i. s.: Nitiocellus Branco 2010 P16
                  |         Scaptodera Hope 1837 P16
                  |           `--S. rhadamistus (see below for synonymy) P16
                  |         Yvescambefortius Ochi & Kon 1996 P16
                  |--+--Tragiscus Klug 1855 P16
                  |  |    `--T. dimidiatus PPS04
                  |  `--Oniticellus Serville 1828 P16
                  |       `--O. pictus PPS04
                  `--+--+--Scaptocnemis PĂ©ringuey 1901 P16
                     |  |    `--S. segregis PPS04
                     |  `--Tiniocellus PĂ©ringuey 1901 P16
                     |       `--T. spinipes PPS04
                     `--+--Anoplodrepanus Simonis 1981 P16
                        |    `--A. reconditus P16
                        `--Euoniticellus Janssens 1953 P16, CW92
                             |--*E. fulvus (Goeze 1777) [=Scarabaeus fulvus] CW92
                             |--E. africanus (Harold 1873) [=Oniticellus africanus] CW92
                             |--E. cubiensis [=Oniticellus cubiensis] P16
                             |--E. intermedius (Reiche 1849) [=Oniticellus intermedius] CW92
                             `--E. pallipes (Fabricius 1781) CW92 (see below for synonymy)

Euoniticellus pallipes (Fabricius 1781) CW92 [=Scarabaeus pallipes CW92, Oniticellus pallipes G89]

Scaptodera rhadamistus [=Liatongus (Paraliatongus) rhadamistus, Oniticellus rhadamistus, Pseudoniticellus rhadamistus] P16

*Type species of generic name indicated


[CW92] Cassis, G., & T. A. Weir. 1992. Scarabaeinae. In: Houston, W. W. K. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia vol. 9. Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea pp. 106–173. AGPS Press: Canberra.

[G89] Gestro, R. 1889. Viaggio ab Assab nel Mar Rosso dei signori G. Doria ed O. Beccari con il R. Avviso “Esploratore” dal 16 Novembre 1879 al 26 Febbraio 1880.—IV. Coleotteri. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 5–72.

[L88] Liebherr, J. K. 1988. General patterns in West Indian insects, and graphical biogeographic analysis of some circum-Caribbean Platynus beetles (Carabidae). Systematic Zoology 37 (4): 385–409.

[P16] Philips, T. K. 2016. Phylogeny of the Oniticellini and Onthophagini dung beetles (Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae) from morphological evidence. ZooKeys 579: 9–57.

[PPS04] Philips, T. K., E. Pretorius & C. H. Scholtz. 2004. A phylogenetic analysis of dung beetles (Scarabaeinae: Scarabaeidae): unrolling an evolutionary history. Invertebrate Systematics 18: 53–88.

Last updated: 2 May 2021.

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