A biotic survey and inventory of the dynastine scarab beetles of Mesoamerica, North America, and the West Indies: review of a long-term, multicountry project

Brett C. RATCLIFFE & Ronald D. CAVE

en Zoosystema 30 (3) - Pages 651-663

Published on 30 September 2008

This article is a part of the thematic issue Hommage à Renaud Paulian (1913-2003)

This biotic inventory will document the species-level diversity of dynastine scarabs, their spatial and temporal distributions, ecological preferences, and biology. The long term, multi-country research project explores a biotically megadiverse region that is seriously at risk from deforestation, environmental homogenization, invasive species, and urban sprawl. Objectives of this survey are: 1) to understand the biodiversity of dynastine scarab beetles in Mesoamerica; 2) disseminate this information in print and electronic forms; 3) train students, parataxonomists, and collection managers in the study area about dynastine taxonomy and identification, care of collections, dissemination of information, and conservation; and 4) assemble authoritatively identified voucher collections and associated databases in Mexico, Guatemala and the U.S. It fully complements our recently completed inventories of the dynastines in southern Mesoamerica. The electronic database and monograph will make information available to a broad user community of researchers, students, natural resource managers, government entities, and general public. Broader impacts of this research encompass discovery while promoting learning, solidifying partnerships to explore biodiversity, and enhancement of research infrastructure by creation/augmentation/dissemination of databases, training of students and technicians, and establishment of authoritatively identified collections. Benefits to society include a better understanding of the importance of and threats to biodiversity, enhanced ability to monitor habitats using taxonomic knowledge, educating students and the public about science, training future scientists or technicians, and instilling in the peoples of developing tropical countries a greater interest in their own rich biota so they may benefit from it and better care for it.


Insecta, Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Dynastinae, Mesoamerica.

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