New scarab beetle species discovered in Florida


Polyphylla starkae

From Wildlife Extra:

New species of scarab beetle discovered in Florida

31/08/2009 23:32:10

New beetle discovered during routine survey

August 2009. A recent study, designed to improve Florida’s database on rare invertebrates resident in the state yielded more than expected. The study discovered a new beetle species, the Auburndale scrub scarab, or “Polyphylla starkae.”

Donna Stark, a volunteer with the study, found the medium-sized beetle in a patch of scrub near Auburndale on the Winter Haven Ridge in Central Florida in 2007. She made a note that it was a large Phyllophaga, which is a group of scarab beetles. It wasn’t until 2009, when she began identifying all the collected specimens that she realized it could possibly be a new species and sent it for identification to Paul Skelley at the Florida State Collection of Arthropods.

Much more still needs to be discovered about the Auburndale scrub scarab. Scientists have never seen its larvae and know relatively little about its habits, including how long it lives and whether it occurs anywhere other than on one tiny patch of scrub.

Why scarab beetles dance on a ball of dung: here.

Egyptian scarabs in art: here.

1 thought on “New scarab beetle species discovered in Florida

  1. Pingback: Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s meteorite dagger | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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