Saturday 21 October 2017

Eurypeza aurora: A new species of Scarab Beetle from Nairobi, Kenya.

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.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 18 October 2017 Ruchard Sehnal of the Department of Zoology and Fisheries, at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, describe a new species of Scarab from Kenya.

The new species is placed in the genus Eurypeza, which currently contains a single species from Somalia, and given the specific name aurora:, meaning Morning Star. The species is described from a single male specimen collected from the town of Salama in the Nairobi Metropolitan Region. It is an elongate Scarab, about 9.6 mm in length, with a reddish-brown head and black body, though this is covered in yellowish white hairs giving it a brownish appearance.

Eurypeza aurora, male in dorsal view. Scale bar is 1 mm. Sehnal (2017).

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