Texas Beetle Information

Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn

Texas Black Phanaeus

Phanaeus triangularis texensis Edmonds, 1994

Family Scarabaeidae, Subfamily Scarabaeinae, Tribe Coprini


(Major male)

Camp Rio Vista, Ingram, Kerr Co., TX 
September 14 , 2002 (Tony Gallucci)

Texas County Records for Phanaeus triangularis texensis

County Record Source: E.G. Riley, Dec. 2005

Range: Texas; Coahuila, Mexico 

Flight Period and Abundance

The Texas A&M University Insect Collection holds some 101 specimens collected between April and November, most from April.

Biology: Adults generally feed on mammalian dung. 

Similar Species

Nearly half of the 50 recognized species of Phanaeus are recorded from Mexico. Six species occur in northern Mexico and the eastern United States, extending as far north as Arizona in the west and Vermont in the east. (Arnett et al, 2002).

Texas Taxa:

Phanaeus adonis Harold 
Phanaeus difformis
Phanaeus triangularis texensis
Phanaeus triangularis triangularis
Phanaeus vindex


Dung Beetles - TAMU
Phanaeus difformis - Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Dung Beetles of Central and Eastern North Carolina Cattle Pastures - North Carolina State University
Dung beetle benefits in pasture ecosystems - National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service


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. 861 pp.

Blume, R.R. and A. Aga. 1976. Phanaeus difformis LeConte (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): clarification of published descriptions, notes on biology, and distribution in Texas. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 30(2): 199-205

Edmonds, W.D. 1994. Revision of Phanaeus Macleay, a New World genus of Scarabaeine dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae). Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Contributions in Science 443: 1-105.

Fincher, G.T. 1972. Notes on the biology of Phanaeus vindex (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Journal of the Georgia Entomological Society, 7:128-133.

Fincher, G.T, R.R. Blume, J.S. Hunter III, & K.R. Beerwinkle. 1986, Seasonal distribution and diel flight activity of dung-feeding scarabs in open and wooded pastures in East-central Texas. Southwestern Entomologist Supplement 10: 1-35.

Halffter, G., Halffter, V., & Lopez, I. 1974. Phanaeus behavior: Food transportation and bisexual cooperation. Environmental. Entomology, 3: 341–345.

Hanski, I. & Y. Cambefort (eds.). 1991. Dung Beetle Ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 481 pp.

Knutson, A. 2000. Dung beetles-Biological control agents of horn flies. Texas Biological Control News. Winter. Texas Agricultural Extension Service. The Texas A&M University System.

Price, D.L. 2005. Descriptions of the male and female genitalia of Phanaeus (Macleay) (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae): the vindex species group. Coleopterists Bulletin, 59(2):197-203.

Price, D.L. 2005. Preliminary phylogeny of the dung beetles genus Phanaeus Macleay (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) using morphological data. Acta Zoologica Mexicana. Numero Especial 2005.

Rasmussen, J.L. 1992. Reproductive Behavior and Ecology of the Horned Rainbow Scarab Beetle Phanaeus difformis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Richardson, P.Q. & R.H. Richardson. 2000. Dung beetles improve the soil community (Texas/Oklahoma). Ecological Restoration, 18(2): 116-117.

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

09 Dec 2008  © Mike Quinn / Texas Entomology / Texas Beetles / Texas Beetle Photos /