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Extinct before discovered? Epactoides giganteus sp. nov. (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae), the first native dung beetle to Réunion island

Abstract : We describe a new species of dung beetle, Epactoides giganteus sp. nov. , from a single female specimen allegedly collected in the 19 th century on Réunion island and recently found at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris. This species differs from other species of Epactoides by larger size and a set of other distinctive morphological characters. Epactoides giganteus sp. nov. is the first native dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) of Réunion, and its discovery expands the known area of distribution of the genus Epactoides , which was hitherto believed to be endemic to Madagascar. Like other taxa from Madagascar and peripheral islands (e.g., Comoro, Seychelles, Mascarenes), E. giganteus sp. nov. may have reached Réunion by over-water dispersal. Given the rapid loss of biodiversity on Réunion island and the fact that no additional specimens were re-collected over the last two centuries, it is very likely that E. giganteus sp. nov. has gone extinct. However, we have unconfirmed evidence that the holotype of E. giganteus sp. nov. might be a mislabeled specimen from Madagascar, which would refute the presence of native dung beetles on Réunion. We discuss both hypotheses about the specimen origin and assess the systematic position of E. giganteus sp. nov. by examining most of the described species of Madagascan Epactoides . Additionally, we provide a brief overview of the dung beetle fauna of Mascarene Archipelago.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-03562555
Contributor : Olivier Montreuil Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 9:40:56 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 3:48:56 AM

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Michele Rossini, Fernando Vaz-De-Mello, Olivier Montreuil, Nicholas Porch, Sergei Tarasov. Extinct before discovered? Epactoides giganteus sp. nov. (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae), the first native dung beetle to Réunion island. Zookeys, Pensoft, 2021, 1061, pp.75-86. ⟨10.3897/zookeys.1061.70130⟩. ⟨mnhn-03562555⟩

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