Texas Beetle Information

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Malagoniella astyanax yucateca (Harold 1863)

Family Scarabaeidae, Subfamily Scarabaeinae, Tribe Canthonini


Malagoniella astyanax yucateca (Harold)


TEXAS: Cameron Co.
15 mi. E Rio Hondo
C. Cate & M. Quinn-76
swine feces pit-fall
TEXAS Cameron Co
Laguna Atascosa
NWR 8 Oct 1996
J E Wappes

*First Modern U.S. Record in 65 years
Both specimens curated in the TAMUIC


Malagoniella (M.) astyanax yucateca (Harold) has a very wide distribution in Mexico and Central America, but has been found at isolated points that are often separated by great distances. In this case, it is difficult to attribute this to capture inefficiency (at least for many of the places where it has not been found), given that this is a large and very striking species. (Padilla-Gil & Halffter 2007)

Texas specimens collected and examined by Riley & Wolfe (2003) were all from Cameron County.

Flight Period: May through October in Texas

Habitat: Appears to be most often associated with seasonal forests (i.e. those that have a dry season). (Padilla-Gil & Halffter 2007)

Biology: Adults are nocturnally active and frequently attracted to ultraviolet light and dung.

Similar Species: There are nine species in the genus, eight of which are restricted to South America.

M. astyanax appears to reflect an ancient expansion from South America (Padilla-Gil & Halffter 2007)

Website: Dung Beetles - TAMU

Etymology: Malagoniella astyanax yucateca (Harold 1863)

mal, -e, -i, -ign (L). Bad, evil, wrong; imperfect; not
gon, -e, -idi, -o, =y (G). Seed, generation, offspring
-ella (L). Small

Biography: Edgar Von Harold 1830-1886 - University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Museum


Arnett, R.H., Jr., M.C. Thomas, P.E. Skelley & J.H. Frank. (editors). 2002. American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL. xiv + 861 pp.

Bates, H.W. 1886-1890. Pectinicornia and Lamellicornia. In: Salvin and Godwin (eds.), Biologia Centrali Americana. Insecta, Coleoptera, Vol. II Part 2: 1-432.

Borror, D.J. 1960. Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. National Press Books, Palo Alto. v + 134 pp.

Fairmaire, L. 1887. Notice Nécrologique sur M. le baron Edgar von Harold. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 1887: 47-48.

Halffter, G. & A. Martínez. 1966. Revision monographic de los Canthonina Americanos (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) (1a. parte). Revista de la Sociedad Mexicana Historia Natural 27: 114-175.

Halffter, G., F.S. Pereira & A. Martinez. 1960. Malathopa astyanax (Olivier) y formas afines (Coleop. Scarab.) Ciencia (Mex.) 20(7-8): 202-204.

Howden, H.F. 1966. Notes on the Canthonini of the Biologia Centrali-Americana and descriptions of new species (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The Canadian Entomologist 98: 725-741.

Padilla-Gil, D.N. & G. Halffter. 2007. Biogeography of the areas and Canthonini (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) of dry tropical forests in Mesoamerica and Colombia. Acta Zoológica Mexicana (Nueva Serie) 23(1): 73-108.

Riley, E.G. & C.S. Wolfe. 2003. An annotated checklist of the Scarabaeoidea of Texas. Southwestern Entomologist, Supplement, no. 26. 37 pp.

Schaeffer, C. 1905. Some additional new genera and species of Coleoptera found within the limit of the United States. Brooklyn Institute Museum Science Bulletin 1(7): 141-179.

09 Dec 2008 © Mike Quinn / Texas Entomology / Texas Beetle Information