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

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Rossini , M , Vaz-de-Mello , F Z , Montreuil , O , Porch , N & Tarasov , S 2021 , ' Extinct before discovered? Epactoides giganteus sp. nov. (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae), the first native dung beetle to Réunion island ' , ZooKeys , no. 1061 , pp. 75-86 . https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.1061.70130

Title: Extinct before discovered? Epactoides giganteus sp. nov. (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae), the first native dung beetle to Réunion island
Author: Rossini, Michele; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z.; Montreuil, Olivier; Porch, Nicholas; Tarasov, Sergei
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Zoology
University of Helsinki, Zoology
Date: 2021-10-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: ZooKeys
ISSN: 1313-2989
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/335767
Abstract: We describe a new species of dung beetle, Epactoides giganteus sp. nov., from a single female specimen allegedly collected in the 19th century on Reunion island and recently found at the Museum 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 Reunion, 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 Reunion by over-water dispersal. Given the rapid loss of biodiversity on Reunion 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 Reunion. 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.
Subject: Dung beetles
extinction
Madagascar
Malagasy region
Mascarene Archipelago
Nicolas Breon
over-water dispersal
CONSERVATION
MADAGASCAR
DISPERSAL
DIVERSITY
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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