Sunday 24 September 2017

Pegylis majori: A new species of Scarab Beetle from the Hamer Region of Ethiopia.

Scarab Beetles, Scarabeidae, are a large and diverse group, containing about 30 000 known species from around the world. These Beetles are typically large and robust, and often with a metallic colouration. Many Scarab Beetles are excellent diggers, and many of these digging Scarabs share a habit of burying their eggs with a supply of dung to feed their young, gaining them the name Dung Beetles, though others lay their eggs on carrion, decaying plant matter, or in some cases living plants. Members of the genus Pegylis are found across tropical Africa and have larvae which feed on the roots of plants.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 22 September 2017, Richard Sehnal of the Department of Zoology and Fisheries, at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, describes a new species of Pegylis from the Hamer Reion of Ethiopia.

The new species is named Pegylis majori, in honour of VladimĂ­r Major, who collected the specimens from which the species is described. The species is described from eleven male and four female specimens, all collected from near the town of Turmi in the Hamer Region, at an altitude of about 950 m. The males range from 14.4 to 16.3 mm in length, the females from 18.0 to 18.5 mm, both sexes being a metallic black colour, given a russet hue by the presence of many small orange hairs. 

Pegylis majori, (A) male, and (B) female, both in dorsal view. Sehnal (2017).

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