Tragiscus dimidiatus, photographed by Udo Schmidt.

Belongs within: Scarabaeinae.

The Oniticellini are a tribe of dung beetles found in most parts of the world except Australia. Most oniticellin genera are tunnelers, burrowing alongside dung to bury it in place. Two genera, Tragiscus and Oniticellus, are unique among scarabaeines in constructing nests directly within dung rather than in external burrows (Philips et al. 2004).

Synapomorphies (from Philips et al. 2004): Wing with distinct and distally truncate to slightly emarginate pigmentation apically; costal margin at wing base without fine striae; epipharynx with anterior median dorsal processtruncate but narrowly widened at apex; maxilla with galea approximately transverse; labium with two palpomeres; lateral edge of mentum slightly sinuate with a shallow notch posterior of middle; longitudinal arms of labium adjacent to distal transverse bridge with narrow parallel-sided arms extending out laterally from triangular base; lateral cervical sclerite with setal brush located mesally near apex short; seventh and eighth antennomeres with small cavity on anterior surface; anterior edge of approximately ventrally directed anterior transverse plate on prescutum narrowly pointed; scutum-scutellum on one level; scutellum width apically 2.0× length; pygidium with transverse ridge absent, dark pigment present at base; genital capsule with transverse darkened portion on ventral plate; sternal region with furcal arm tip projected laterally.

    |--Helictopleurus d’Orbigny 1915 [incl. Heterosyphus Paulian 1975; Helictopleurina]P16
    |    |--H. giganteusP16
    |    |--H. neoamplicollisP16
    |    |--H. quadripunctatusP16
    |    `--H. sicardi [=Heterosyphus sicardi]P16
       |    |--Attavicinus Philips & Bell 2008P16
       |    |    `--A. monstrosusP16
       |    `--Paroniticellus Balthasar 1963P16
       |         `--P. festivusP16
       `--+--Liatongus Reitter 1893 [Liatongina]P16
          |    |--*L. phanaeoides (Westwood 1839) [=Oniticellus phanaeoides]CW92
          |    |--L. californicusP16
          |    |--L. militaris (Castelnau 1840) [=Oniticellus militaris]CW92
          |    `--L. rhinocerulusP16
             |    |--Drepanocerus Kirby 1828PPS04, P16
             |    |    `--D. reconditusL88
             |    |--Afrodrepanus Krikken 2009P16
             |    |    `--A. impressicollisP16
             |    |--Clypeodrepanus Kirkken 2009P16
             |    |--Cyptochirus Lesne 1900P16
             |    |    `--C. ambiguousP16
             |    |--Drepanoplatynus Boucomont 1921P16
             |    |--Eodrepanus Barbero, Palestrini & Roggero 2009P16
             |    |--Epidrepanus Roggero, Barbero & Palestrini 2015P16
             |    |--Ixodina Roth 1851P16
             |    |--Paraixodina Roggero, Barbero & Palestrini 2015P16
             |    |--Latodrepanus Krikken 2009P16
             |    |--Sinodrepanus Simonis 1985P16
             |    `--Tibiodrepanus Krikken 2009P16
                  |  i. s.: Nitiocellus Branco 2010P16
                  |         Scaptodera Hope 1837P16
                  |           `--S. rhadamistus (see below for synonymy)P16
                  |         Yvescambefortius Ochi & Kon 1996P16
                  |--+--Tragiscus Klug 1855P16
                  |  |    `--T. dimidiatusPPS04
                  |  `--Oniticellus Serville 1828P16
                  |       `--O. pictusPPS04
                  `--+--+--Scaptocnemis Péringuey 1901P16
                     |  |    `--S. segregisPPS04
                     |  `--Tiniocellus Péringuey 1901P16
                     |       `--T. spinipesPPS04
                     `--+--Anoplodrepanus Simonis 1981P16
                        |    `--A. reconditusP16
                        `--Euoniticellus Janssens 1953P16, CW92
                             |--*E. fulvus (Goeze 1777) [=Scarabaeus fulvus]CW92
                             |--E. africanus (Harold 1873) [=Oniticellus africanus]CW92
                             |--E. cubiensis [=Oniticellus cubiensis]P16
                             |--E. intermedius (Reiche 1849) [=Oniticellus intermedius]CW92
                             `--E. pallipes (Fabricius 1781)CW92 [=Scarabaeus pallipesCW92, Oniticellus pallipesG89]

Scaptodera rhadamistus [=Liatongus (Paraliatongus) rhadamistus, Oniticellus rhadamistus, Pseudoniticellus rhadamistus]P16

*Type species of generic name indicated


[CW92] Cassis, G., & T. A. Weir. 1992. Scarabaeinae. In: Houston, W. W. K. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia vol. 9. Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea pp. 106–173. AGPS Press: Canberra.

[G89] Gestro, R. 1889. Viaggio ab Assab nel Mar Rosso dei signori G. Doria ed O. Beccari con il R. Avviso “Esploratore” dal 16 Novembre 1879 al 26 Febbraio 1880.—IV. Coleotteri. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 5–72.

[L88] Liebherr, J. K. 1988. General patterns in West Indian insects, and graphical biogeographic analysis of some circum-Caribbean Platynus beetles (Carabidae). Systematic Zoology 37 (4): 385–409.

[P16] Philips, T. K. 2016. Phylogeny of the Oniticellini and Onthophagini dung beetles (Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae) from morphological evidence. ZooKeys 579: 9–57.

[PPS04] Philips, T. K., E. Pretorius & C. H. Scholtz. 2004. A phylogenetic analysis of dung beetles (Scarabaeinae: Scarabaeidae): unrolling an evolutionary history. Invertebrate Systematics 18: 53–88.

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