Male Proagoderus rangifer, copyright Olga Helmy and Douglas Emlen.

Belongs within: Scarabaeinae.
Contains: Onthophagus.

The Onthophagini are a cosmopolitan tribe of dung beetles. Members of the tribe bury pieces of dung for egg-laying where they find it rather than rolling it elsewhere for burial (Philips et al. 2004). A number of species have been widely introduced around the world to assist in the breakdown of waste from livestock, such as the southern African Digitonthophagus gazella. Members of one clade, including the genera Stiptopodius and Pinacotarsus, are inquilines in ant and termite nests (Philips 2016).

Synapomorphies (from Philips et al. 2004): Jugal vein present; MP + CuA narrowly separated; costal margin at wing base with fine striae; proximal transverse bridge of posterior labial struts with distinct lateral surface; lateral margin of cervical sclerites with large rounded lobe; mandible with narrow tooth-like projections on ventral sclerotised area extending towards mandible apex medially; antennal scape with setal row at midline; seventh and eighth antennomeres with small cavity on anterior surface; abdominal spiracle 1 equal in width to or slightly wider than scutellum; prescutum with narrowly transverse projection on anterior, slightly ventrally directed transverse plate; broad notch on lateral edge of scutum-scutellum; mediophragma with posterior dorsoventrally-directed apodeme present; scutellum with apical width 1.5× length; alar ridge of scutellum distinctly converging in dorsal view; pygidium with anterio-medial groove indistinct or faintly visible, extending ~1/2-3/4 length of area between dorsal margin and transverse ridge; transverse ridge on pygidium slightly pronounced; dorsolateral edge of pygidium squared off with flattened edges; pronotal surface with protuberance or one or more cavities present; mid-coxae slightly oblique; body narrowing towards posterior end.

<==Onthophagini [Alloscelina]
    |--Proagoderus Van Lansberge 1883 P16
    |    |--P. lanista P16
    |    |--P. ramosicornis B14
    |    `--P. rangifer Klug 1855 B14
    `--+--Diastellopalpus Van Lansberge 1886 P16
       |    `--D. thomsoni PPS04
       `--+--+--Digitonthophagus Balthasar 1959 P16
          |  |    `--D. gazella PPS04
          |  `--Phalops Erichson 1847 P16
          `--+--‘Onthophagus’ depressus Harold 1871 P16, M72 [incl. O. carteri Blackburn 1904 CW92]
             `--+--+--Strandius Balthasar 1935 P16
                |  |    `--S. lenzi P16
                |  `--Onthophagus P16
                `--+--Euonthophagus Balthasar 1959 P16
                   `--+--+--Milichus Péringuey 1901 P16
                      |  |    `--M. apicalis P16
                      |  `--Tomogonus d’Orbigny 1904 P16
                      |       `--T. crassus P16
                      `--+--Hyalonthophagus Palestrini 1989 P16
                         |    `--H. alcyon P16
                         `--+--Caccobius Thomson 1859 P16
                            |    |--C. ferrugineus P16
                            |    `--C. schreberi C01
                            `--+--Mimonthophagus Balthasar 1963 P16
                               |    `--M. hinnulus P16
                               `--+--Cleptocaccobius Cambefort 1984 P16
                                  |    `--C. schaedlei P16
                                  `--+--Amietina Cambefort 1981 P16
                                     |    `--A. eburnea P16
                                     `--+--+--Haroldius Boucomont 1914 (see below for synonymy) P16
                                        |  |    `--H. convexus P16
                                        |  `--Cassolus Sharp 1875 P16
                                        |       `--C. humeralis P16
                                        `--+--Megaponerophilus Janssens 1949 P16
                                           |    `--M. megaponerae P16
                                           `--+--Alloscelus Boucomont 1923 P16
                                              |    `--A. paradoxus P16
                                              `--+--Pseudosaproecius Balthasar 1941 P16
                                                 |    `--P. validicornis P16
                                                 `--+--Eusaproecius Branco 1989 P16
                                                    |    `--E. tinantae P16
                                                    `--+--Stiptopodius Harold 1871 P16
                                                       |    `--S. doriae P16
                                                       `--+--Pinacotarsus Harold 1875 P16
                                                          |    `--P. dohrni P16
                                                          `--+--Heteroclitopus Péringuey 1901 P16
                                                             |    `--H. annamariae P16
                                                             `--Sukelus Branco 1992 P16
                                                                  `--S. jessopi P16

Onthophagus incertae sedis:
  Anoctus Sharp 1875 P16
  Cambefortius Branco 1989 P16
  Cyobius Sharp 1875 P16
  Disphysema Harold 1873 P16
  Dorbignyolus Branco 1989 P16
  Krikkenius Branco 1989 P16
  Neosaproecius Branco 1989 P16
  Pinacopodius Branco 1989 P16
  Stiptocnemis Branco 1989 P16
  Stiptotarsus Branco 1989 P16
  Unidentis Josso & Prévost 2012 P16
  Walterantus Cambefort 1977 P16

Haroldius Boucomont 1914 [incl. Afroharoldius, Formicdubius, Ponerotrogus] P16

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B14] Bouchard, P. (ed.) 2014. The Book of Beetles: A lifesize guide to six hundred of nature's gems. Ivy Press: Lewes (United Kingdom).

[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.

[C01] Csiki, E. 1901. Bogarak [Coleopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 75–120. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[M72] Matthews, E. G. 1972. A revision of the scarabaeine dung beetles of Australia. I. Tribe Onthophagini. Australian Journal of Zoology, Supplementary Series 9: 1–330.

[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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