Reproductive biology in three species of the genus Onitis Fabricius 1798 (Coleoptera Scarabaeidae Onitini)

C. PALESTRINI, E. BARBERO, E. TREVISAN, L. BORGHESIO

Abstract


The reproductive biology of three species of the genus Onitis Fabricius
1798 was studied in laboratory conditions. The species, O. belial (Fabricius 1789)
from Morocco, O. anthracinus Felsche 1907 and O. vanderkelleni Van Lansberge
1886 from Kenya, adopted a tunneler nesting strategy, as is typical of the tribe
Onitini. Nevertheless, the same species can adopt different tactics, modifying the
shape and depth of the nest, number of brood-masses per couple, and number of
eggs laid. However, this study showed that O. vanderkelleni builds a poorly elaborated
nest and lays a higher mean number of eggs, while O. belial and O.
anthracinus expend a larger amount of energy in the construction of the nest,
while reducing the number of eggs laid.
KEY WORDS: dung beetles, nesting behaviour, Afrotropical Region, Oriental
Region, Palaearctic Region.

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