Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A new species of Scavenger Scarab Beetle from the Early Cretaceous of Liaoning Province, China.

Scavenger Scarab Beetles (Hybosoridae) are small (5-7 mm), oval Scarab Beetles, with enlarged mandibles and mouthparts. They are typically carrion feeders, with some species favouring vertebrate dung. They are not a large group of Beetles, with only about 600 species known from across the tropics today, but have a reasonably good fossil record, with around 20 described fossil species, dating from the Late Jurassic onwards.

In a paper published in the journal Alcheringa on 15 November 2012, Zhuo Yan of the Key Laboratory of Insect Evolution and Environmental Changes at the College of Life Sciences at Capital Normal University in Beijing, Ming Bai of the Key laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution at the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Dong Ren, also of the Key Laboratory of Insect Evolution and Environmental Changes, describe a new species of Scavenger Scarab Beetle from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Huangbanjigou in Liaoning Province, China.

The new species is named Fortishybosorus ericeusicus, where 'Fortishybosorus' means 'strong Hubosorid' and 'ericeusicus' means spiny, a reference to the spines on its lower leg. Fortishybosorus ericeusicus is described from a single specimen preserved as part and counterpart on slabs of lacustrine siltstone. It is a 9.2 mm oval-bodied Scarab Beetle.

Fortishybosorus ericeusicus in dorsal view. Photograph (top) & line drawing (bottom). Yan et al. (2013).

Fortishybosorus ericeusicus in ventral view. Photograph (top) & line drawing (bottom). Yan et al. (2013).

See also A new species of aquatic Beetle from the campus of the Ateneo de Manila UniversityA new species of myrmecophilous Rove Beetle from the Peruvian AmazonA new species of Longhorn Beetle from Southeast AsiaA new species of Marsh Rove Beetle from Japan and A new species of Chrysomeline Leaf Beetle from Ireland, England and Tasmania.

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