Professor Bert Kohlmann discovers five new scarab species in Costa Rica

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: June 7th, 2012

Five new of species of scarabs in the Scarabaeidae family were recently discovered.  The finding resulted from the research of the entomologist, ecologist and EARTH University Professor Bert Kohlmann and the biologist, entomologist and curator Ángel Solís.

The research, which required two full years of study, was completed in different ecosystems within Costa Rica, including the cloud forest and the humid tropics, characteristic of the area in which EARTH University is located and its neighboring areas such as Braulio Carrillo National Park.

“The research took time and dedication—as it demanded an extensive verification process to ensure that these were truly new species in Costa Rica—and afterward we had to do the necessary documentation to offer an accurate record of these specimens,” Professor Kohlmann explained.

The pair of scientists has worked continually for more than 20 years to investigate these insects; in that time they have discovered over 50 new scarabaeid species.  The new species include: Athyreus gulesserianiAteuchus alutacius,Coprophanaeus gephyraDeltochilum acanthus and Onthophagus turgidus, which form part of 181 taxa belonging to the family.

Download the poster of the beetles here

This family is the first group of insects to be studied in its totality in Costa Rica; by providing us with a base from which to understand the most important areas of distribution, high level of diversity and endemism of these insects, it enables us to define the best strategies for protecting Costa Rica’s biodiversity,” Professor Kohlmann remarked.

According to Solís, “Our next step is the creation of a complete catalog of the 181 species discovered in our research, which will include the characteristics of each, and in this way finalize the group inventory and follow up on the management of the INBio collections.  At the same time, we would like to continue testing different hypotheses existing within the framework of entomology; in this research we will be able to verify the conjecture that the speciesAteuchus alutacius, native to old environments like the cloud forest, develop smaller wings, which prevents them from flying; this success motivates us to continue researching and clarifying such suppositions.”