of eastern NSW

Genus Onitis

Species found in eastern New South Wales: 4 introduced species, O. alexis, O. caffer, O. pecuarius & O. viridulus.

Other species: O. aygulus (central western NSW)

Eastern Africa, from Ethiopia to South Africa, and southern Europe. Established in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

Large (12-23mm long). Antennae 9 segmented. Colour dark brown to black, sometimes with metalllic sheen or yellow-brown elytra. Elongate, parallel-sided, dorsally flattened. Clypeal margin without teeth, small nick in frontoclypeal margin. Anterior part of underside of pronotum not excavated anteriorly. No tubercles or keels on pronotum or elytra, pronotum with lateral depressions, head transversely keeled or with tubercles. Surfaces of head and pronotum glabrous.

Elytra: elytra with 10 striae, 7 dorsal, 3 lateral. Pseudepipleuron between striae 8 and 9. Intervals flat.

Hind wings: Fully developed.

Legs: Fore tibiae with 4 teeth on the outer edge. Middle coxae parallel. Mid and hind tibiae with transverse ridges.  Hind femora with doubled teeth or serrated edge. Claws simple.

Abdomen: Metasternum densely covered with hairs (often rubbed off), last sternite with medial tooth. Pygidium without grooves or depressions.

Sexual dimorphism
Female: No teeth or serrations on hind femora. Last sternite without teeth.

Similar Genera
Onthophagus (some species), of a similar size, general shape and colour.
Obvious differences: Onthophagus without teeth or serration of inner edges of hind femora, with 8 striae, without pseudepipleura.

Adults coprophagous, winged, in open areas and pastures.

Cassis, G. & Weir, T.A. (1992) Scarabaeinae. pp 106-173. In: Houston, W.W.K. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea. Canberra: AGPS Vol. 9.

Tyndale-Biscoe, M. (1990) Common Dung Beetles in Pastures of South-eastern Australia. CSIRO Division of Entomology.