To provide the scientific community and members of the public with electronic access to the African Dung Beetle (Scarabaeinae) collection and associated data held by The Natural History Museum London, organised from a molecular phylogenetic perspective.
Worldwide the Subfamily Scarabaeinae contains approximately 5,000 described species of what are commonly known as scarab or dung beetles (Scarabaée bousier, Miskruier, Escaravelho). The Natural History Museum, London (British Museum of Natural History) holds specimens for over 3,000 described dung beetle species, including many type specimens, making it one of the best and most important collections of dung beetles in the world. However access to the collection and the data which accompanies each dung beetle specimen could be improved through use of the internet.
Starting with but not limited to The Natural History Museum, London, dung beetle collection, data from other sources will be included, whatever they might be. This site should be viewed as a first attempt to share the data associated with dung beetle specimens collected in Africa. Primarily it can be searched by country or by species name, however dung beetle DNA sequence data, high quality images of beetles and dung preference will also be included in the near future. Currently the site is in a rough state and although by its very nature, will always be under construction, will improve considerably with time.
For non African dung beetles see ScarabNet, an international group of dung beetle taxonomists, ecologists and systematists working together to establish scarabaeine dung beetles as an invertebrate focal taxon for biodiversity study and conservation.