This page was draw up by Stefano Ziani.

The Scarabaeinae are a very heterogeneous subfamily, with 10 tribes, 234 genera and close to 5000 described species worldwide. Members of the subfamily are commonly called "dung beetles". Most of them feed on vertebrate (mostly mammalian) dung, but there are also species specialized on carrion, fungi, rotting fruit and other decomposing plant material. The subfamily includes the so-called telecoprid nesters, i.e. scarabs that fashion a ball of dung, roll it on the surface and bury it away from the dung mass, either for feeding or for providing a broad mass for their progeny. The group includes the Scarabaeus species which were revered by the ancient Egyptians.

In the Palearctic region the Scarabaeinae are grouped in nine tribes, with about 40 genera. Seven tribes, Coprini, Gymnopleurini, Oniticellini, Onitini, Onthophagini, Scarabaeini and Sisyphini, are distributed in the Levant, with 15 genera and more than 90 species. For some of them, Levantine records are very old, and need confirmation. Four species are reliably endemic, all of the tribe Onthophagini.


(*) T.Branco (2007) pointed out that to credit the name Scarabaeidae to Latreille (1802), as some authors do, is quite problematic. Latreille (1802) placed 11 genera, including Scarabaeus (with "Scarabaeus hercules Lin." as the only example for the genus) in the "Famille Seizieme. Scarabeides: scarabaeides.", and placed five genera, including Ateuchus (with Ateuchus sacer F." as the only example for the genus) in the "Famille Quatorzieme. Coprophages: coprophagi.". MacLeay (1819) first used the name Scarabaeidae in its current sense, with type genus Scarabaeus Linneus, 1758 (type species Scarabaeus sacer Linnaeus, 1758). For preserving nomenclatorial stability and universality, threatened by this clear example of altered concept, according the Article 65.2.2 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (1999) the case should be referred to the Commission for a ruling.


Genus Catharsius Hope, 1837

Catharsius sesostris C.O. Waterhouse, 1888 - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Syria

Genus Copris Geoffroy, 1762

Subgenus Copris s. str.

C.(Copris) hispanus ssp. cavolinii V. Petagna, 1792 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
C.(Copris) lunaris (Linnaeus, 1758) - Israel/Palestine


Genus Gymnopleurus Illiger, 1803

Gymnopleurus flagellatus (Fabricius, 1787) - Israel/Palestine, Syria
[syn. Gymnopleurus asperatus Mulsant, 1842 - Israel/Palestine]
[syn. Gymnopleurus calignosus Balthasar, 1934 - Israel/Palestine]
[syn. Gymnopleurus coriarius (Herbst, 1789) - Israel/Palestine, Syria]
[syn. Gymnopleurus serratus Fischer von Waldheim, 1821 - Israel/Palestine]

Gymnopleurus geoffroyi ssp. geoffroyi (Fuessly, 1775) - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine
[syn. Gymnopleurus cantharus Illiger, 1803 - Israel/Palestine]

Gymnopleurus mopsus ssp. mopsus (Pallas, 1781) - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Syria
Gymnopleurus sturmii MacLeay, 1821 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria


Genus Euoniticellus Janssens, 1953

Euoniticellus fulvus (Goeze, 1777) - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
Euoniticellus pallens (A.G.Olivier), 1789 - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Syria
Euoniticellus pallipes (Fabricius, 1781) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria


Genus Bubas Mulsant, 1842

Bubas bubaloides Janssens, 1938 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria

Genus Cheironitis Lansberge, 1875

Cheironitis furcifer (P.Rossi, 1792) - Israel/Palestine, Syria
Cheironitis moeris (Pallas, 1781) - Lebanon, Syria
Cheironitis pamphilus (Menetries, 1849) - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
Cheironitis irroratus (P.Rossi, 1790) - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Syria
Cheironitis ungaricus (Herbst, 1789) - Israel/Palestine?, Syria?

Genus Onitis Fabricius, 1798

Onitis alexis ssp. septentrionalis Balthasar, 1942 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
Onitis damoetas Steven, 1806 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
Onitis ezechias Reiche and Saulcy, 1856 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
Onitis humerosus (Pallas, 1771) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
Onitis ion (A.G.Olivier, 1789) - Israel/Palestine?


Genus Caccobius Thomson, 1859

Subgenus Caccobius s.str.

C.(Caccobius) histeroides (Menetries, 1832) - Israel/Palestine, Syria
C.(Caccobius) mundus (Menetries, 1839) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
C.(Caccobius) schreberi (Linnaeus, 1767) - Israel/Palestine, Syria

Subgenus Caccophilus Jekel, 1872

C.(Caccophilus) pulicarius Harold, 1875 - Israel/Palestine, Syria

Genus Euonthophagus Balthasar, 1959

Euonthophagus amyntas ssp. alces (Fabricius, 1792) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
Euonthophagus atramentarius (Menetries, 1832) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
[syn. Onthophagus felschei Reitter, 1891 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria]

Euonthophagus conterminus Petrovitz, 1971 - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria
Euonthophagus gibbosus (Scriba, 1790) - Israel/Palestine, Syria
[syn. Onthophagus weisei Reitter, 1891 - Israel/Palestine, Syria]

Euonthophagus tissoni (Reitter, 1906) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria
[syn. Onthophagus hannas J.R.Sahlberg, 1908 - Israel/Palestine]

Genus Onthophagus Latreille, 1802

Subgenus Eremonthophagus Zunino, 1979

O.(Eremonthophagus) sticticus Harold, 1867 - Egypt Sinai
O.(Eremonthophagus) transcaspicus Konig, 1889 - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine

Subgenus Furconthophagus Zunino, 1979

O.(Furconthophagus) furcatus (Fabricius, 1781) - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria

Subgenus Micronthophagus Balthasar, 1963

O.(Micronthophagus) melanocephalus Klug, 1845 - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine

Subgenus Onthophagus s.str.

O.(Onthophagus) illyricus (Scopoli, 1763) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria
O.(Onthophagus) taurus (Schreber, 1759) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria

Subgenus Palaeonthophagus Zunino, 1979 [syn. Amphionthophagus Martin-Piera and Zunino, 1983]

O.(Palaeonthophagus) aerarius Reitter, 1892 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) aleppensis Redtenbacher, 1843 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) andalusicus Waltl, 1835 - Israel/Palestine?
O.(Palaeonthophagus) angorensis Petrovitz, 1963 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) basipustulatus Heyden, 1899 - Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) bonsae Zunino, 1976 - Lebanon
O.(Palaeonthophagus) bytinskii Balthasar, 1960 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon
O.(Palaeonthophagus) carpanetoi Pittino, 1982 - Jordan
O.(Palaeonthophagus) coenobita (Herbst, 1783) - Israel/Palestine
O.(Palaeonthophagus) cruciatus Menetries, 1832 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) dacatrai Pittino, 2004 - Jordan
O.(Palaeonthophagus) falzonii Goidanich, 1926 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) fissicornis (Steven, 1809) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) fissinasus Fairmaire, 1895 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) formaneki Reitter, 1897 - Syria?
O.(Palaeonthophagus) fracticornis (Preyssler, 1790) - Israel/Palestine, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) furciceps Marseul, 1869 - Lebanon
O.(Palaeonthophagus) gibbulus ssp. gibbulus (Pallas, 1781) - Syria?
O.(Palaeonthophagus) hermonensis Baraud, 1982 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) lemur (Fabricius, 1781) - Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) lucidus (Sturm, 1800) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) marginalis Gebler, 1817 sensu latu - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) muelleri P.Novak, 1921 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
[syn. Onthophagus novaki Gillet and Boucomont, 1927 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria]

O.(Palaeonthophagus) nebulosus Reiche, 1864 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) opacicollis Reitter, 1892 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) osellai Pittino, 1982 - Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) ovatus (Linnaeus, 1767) - Syria?
O.(Palaeonthophagus) parmatus Reitter, 1892 - Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) ponticus Harold, 1883 - Lebanon
[syn. Onthophagus furcicornis Reitter, 1892 - Lebanon]

O.(Palaeonthophagus) ruficapillus Brulle, 1832 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) sericatus Reitter, 1892 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) similis (Scriba, 1790) - Israel/Palestine?, Syria?
O.(Palaeonthophagus) speculifer Solsky, 1876 - Israel/Palestine?
O.(Palaeonthophagus) strabo Reitter, 1892 - Syria?
O.(Palaeonthophagus) suturellus Brulle, 1832 - Israel/Palestine, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) truchmenus ssp. truchmenus Kolenati, 1846 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
O.(Palaeonthophagus) vacca (Linnaeus, 1767) - Israel/Palestine?, Syria?
O.(Palaeonthophagus) verticicornis (Laicharting, 1781) - Syria?

Species incertae sedis

Onthophagus bituberculatus (Olivier, 1789) - Lebanon
Onthophagus sellatus Kluh, 1845 - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
Onthophagus circulator Reitter, 1891 - Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria [species inquirenda]
Onthophagus pictus Reitter, 1892 - Syria [species inquirenda]
Onthophagus simius Reitter, 1892 - Syria [species inquirenda]


- Onthophagus nemaeus, sometimes written nemoeus, sometimes nemeus, is an unavailable name by Olivier (or according to Reiche, by Klug), used in litteris by Kolenati, 1846, Reiche, 1864, d’Orbigny, 1898, Baudi, 1870, Baudi, 1894, Bodenheimer, 1937, for what is now known as Onthophagus nebulosus Reiche, 1864. Particularly, Baudi, 1894 recorded "O.nemoeus" from "Mar-Saba", Israel/Palestine.
- Onthophagus tuberculatus Olivier recorded from "Berytum" [Beirut] by Sahlberg, 1913 is most probably a lapsus calami for Onthophagus bituberculatus (Olivier, 1789).


Genus Ateuchetus Bedel, 1892

Ateuchetus armeniacus (Menetries, 1832) - Egypt Sinai?, Israel/Palestine, Syria
Ateuchetus puncticollis (Latreille, 1819) - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon?, Syria ?
Ateuchetus semipunctatus (Fabricius, 1792) - Israel/Palestine?

Genus Mnematidium Ritsema, 1889

Mnematidium multidentatum (Klug, 1845) - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria

Genus Mnematium MacLeay, 1821

Mnematium silenus G.R.Gray, 1832 - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Syria

Genus Scarabaeus Linnaeus, 1758

Subgenus Mesoscarabaeus Zidek and Pokorny, 2008

S.(Mesoscarabaeus) cristatus Fabricius, 1775 (Israel/Palestine)
[syn. Ateuchus compressicornis Klug, 1845 (Israel/Palestine)]

Subgenus Scarabaeus s.str.

S.(Scarabaeus) acuticollis (Motschulsky, 1849) - Syria
S.(Scarabaeus) gangeticus (Castelnau, 1840) - Israel/Palestine
S.(Scarabaeus) irakensis Stolfa, 1938 - Jordan, Syria
S.(Scarabaeus) pius (Illiger, 1803) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
S.(Scarabaeus) sacer Linnaeus, 1758 - Egypt Sinai, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
S.(Scarabaeus) typhon (Fischer de Waldheim, 1823) - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria
S.(Scarabaeus) zagrosensis Montreuil, 2006 - Syria


Genus Sisyphus Latreille, 1807

Subgenus Sisyphus s.str.

Sisyphus schaefferi ssp. boschnakii Fischer de Waldheim, 1824 - Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria

Back to top