Sandy Dung Beetle
Scabby Scarab Beetle
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Family:||Scarab Beetle (Scarabaeidae)|
|Species:||Hairy Little Scarab Beetle (Melolonthinae sp ES12)|
|Other name:||June Beetle|
Thank you Mark Hura for identifying this species for us
General Species Information:
Found in the Murray Mallee SA and possibly elsewhere
Mark found this beetle and we photographed it in his hand. He said "This is a bit of a mystery species. The only thing I could find that came close to a match was Automolius, based on the arrangement if the hind tibial spurs, the fused tergite/sternite near the apical end of the abdomen, and the stout hairs on the pronotum. Automolius generally should be completely clothed, however the extent of the clothing on the elytra varies. There are some species that have scale-like setae on the elytra, which I think this may have had originally, but has since worn off. There seems to be a whitish mark from each of the pores on the elytra, which may be the remnants of scales that have been rubbed off before us finding it. In addition, females also have bare patches (usually near the back of the elytra) which may vary in size and may have contributed to the nakedness of the elytra.
There is a chance that it could also be a Liparetrus, however if so, it is very unlike any that I have ever come across. Generally these have very fine pilosity on the pronotum and not the stout hairs so obvious in your image. There may very well be species like this however that I am not aware of.
Basically, unless I find another one that I can examine, we will not really know the true identity of it, and so it is best left as a 'Melolonthinae' for the time being.