Bronze dung beetle Onitis alexis, copyright Bernard Dupont.

Belongs within: Scarabaeinae.

The Onitini are a group of large dung beetles lacking tarsi on the fore legs found in Africa and Eurasia.

Synapomorphies (from Philips et al. 2004): Posterior margin of wing with a notch at MPc and in anal region; AA vein with a distinct branch near base forming an elongate cell with obtuse posterior angle; RP and RA veins distinctly visible as two separate but not parallel veins; 'Z' vein at posterior margin near middle with proximal arm long, extending up to middle of wing. Epipharynx with lateral tormal process short, closed circles starting before proximal end of median tormal process. Ventral articulatory sclerite of maxilla with apex of distal portion recurved; galea with one associated 'extra sclerite'. Mentum distally transverse; proximal transverse bridge of posterior labial struts with a distinct lateral surface; dorsoventral arm of labium arising medially from distal bridge in ventral view. Scutellum with anterior margin projecting and sinuate; mediophragma with ventral margin deeply emarginate; posterior margin of scutellum, medio- and laterophragmite covered with very long, fine, dense setae. Spiculum gastrale present as two opposed quadrilateral sclerites oriented approximately vertically. Fore tarsi absent; fore tibial apex in male with spine absent (spine-like tooth present); prothoracic apodemes with dorsal surface expanded laterally on both sides forming a nearly horizontal surface. Metasternum posteriorly with depression on either side of middle; metasternum of male with a posteriorly directed, slightly projecting edge. Metendosternite with lateral chitinous line in furcal arms very concave anteriorly.

<==Onitini PPS04
    |  i. s.: Platyonitis smeenkorum PPS04
    |--+--Heteronitis castelnaui PPS04
    |  `--Bubas Mulsant 1842 PPS04, CW92
    |       |--*B. bison (Linnaeus 1767) [=Scarabaeus bison] CW92
    |       `--B. bubalus PPS04
    `--Onitis Fabricius 1798 PPS04, CW92
         |--*O. sphinx (Fabricius 1798) [=Scarabaeus sphinx] CW92
         |--O. alexis Klug 1835 CW92
         |--O. aygulus (Fabricius 1781) [=Scarabaeus aygulus] CW92
         |--O. bison G20
         |--O. caffer Boheman 1858 CW92
         |--O. chevrolatii Lucas 1846 E12
         |--O. corydon B35
         |--O. falcatus WK86
         |--O. fulgidus PPS04
         |--O. pecuarius Lansberge 1875 CW92
         |--O. philemon WK86
         |--O. subopacus WK86
         |--O. tortuosus Houston 1983 CW92
         |--O. vanderkelleni Lansberge 1886 CW92
         |--O. viridulus Boheman 1857 CW92
         `--O. westermanni Lansberge 1886 CW92

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B35] Boisduval, J. B. 1835. Voyage de Découvertes de l’Astrolabe. Exécuté par ordre du Roi, pendant les années 1826–1827–1828–1829, sous le commandement de M. J. Dumont d'Urville. Faune entomologique de l'océan Pacifique, avec l'illustration des insectes nouveaux recueillis pendant le voyage vol. 2. Coléoptères et autres ordres. J. Tastu: Paris.

[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.

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[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.

[WK86] Walter, D. E., & G. W. Krantz. 1986. Description of the Macrocheles kraepelini species complex (Acari: Macrochelidae) with two new species. Canadian Journal of Zoology 64: 212–217.

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