The dung beetle fauna of the Big Bend region of Texas (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae)


  • W. D. Edmonds


Trans-Pecos, Chihuahuan Desert, natural history.


This paper reports the results of a 2001-2009 field study of the scarabaeine dung beetle fauna (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) of the Big Bend region of Texas, a three-county area of the Trans-Pecos portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. The observed fauna comprises 10 native species, Canthon blumei Halffter and Halffter, C. imitator Brown, C. praticola LeConte, and C. mixtus Robinson; Onthophagus browni Howden and Cartwright, O. knausi Brown, O. velutinus Horn and O. brevifrons Horn; Copris arizonensis Schaeffer and Phanaeus texensis Edmonds; as well as two exotic species introduced in the 1970s, Digitonthophagus gazella (Fabricius) and Euoniticellus intermedius (Reiche). The existing native fauna antedates the completion of desertification approximately 9,000 yrs BP and is similar ecologically and taxonomically to those in southeastern Arizona and northern Mexico. Ecological distribution follows three broad, overlapping habitat zones: desert montane forest, desert grassland and desert scrub. Species accounts include diagnoses, geographic distribution data, and information on collection method, habitat distribution and daily activity.