Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

<I>Cyphopisthes descarpentriesi </I>Paulian, 1977

Cyphopisthes descarpentriesi Paulian, 1977


Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

1 December 2002 - Gerasimos Cassis & Tom A. Weir


The Ceratocanthidae (=Acanthoceridae) were widely considered as a separate family of the Scarabaeoidea and appeared to be related to the Hybosoridae and Ochodaeidae (Lawrence & Newton 1982), and the Trogidae (Crowson 1955). The family is now considered to be a subfamily of Hybosoridae. Ceratocanthinae are found in the tropics and subtropics of the world and include about 20 genera and 200 species (Lawrence 1982).

The Australian fauna currently comprises seven species (Ballerio 2013), all in Queensland, in the genera Cyphopisthes Gestro and Pterorthochaetes Gestro, both of which are diverse in Papua New Guinea and the Oriental Region (Paulian 1978).

Gestro (1899) described all the then known Australian species in a review of the world fauna and Paulian (1977) revised the Australian fauna and redescribed these species. Ballerio (2013) described four further species, two in each genus. The Australian species are poorly collected and are represented by relatively few specimens in museum collections.

The biology of this group is poorly known although both the adults and larvae have been collected under bark (Lawrence 1982). Elsewhere, adults have also been extracted from leaf litter and dung-baited pitfall traps. Ritcher (1958) stated that the larvae of African species feed on rotting wood. The adults and larvae of Cyphopisthes descarpentriesi Paulian have been taken in the galleries of the termite species, Mastotermes darwiniensis Froggatt. Termite associations are known in other extralimital ceratocanthid species but there are indications that they are not highly integrated into termite societies (Kistner 1982).



These beetles are characterised by having a strongly convex body that can be rolled into a pill-shaped form. They are usually small sized, most often less than 5 mm, dark, and the head, pronotum and scutellum are comparatively large. The larvae can be separated from those of other scarabaeoids by the presence of 4-segmented antennae and a serrate labrum (Lawrence 1982).


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
01-Jul-2020 SCARABAEOIDEA 10-Oct-2013 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)