Darling Dung Beetle Discovered at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Recently, scientists found a 40-year-old treasure hidden in a drawer of the insect collection at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC. Only 3 mm in length, this darling dung beetle was first collected in Kluane National Park, YT, in 1979 by Dr. Geoff Scudder, director of the Spencer Entomological Collection from 1958-1999. Then, 38 years later, a “bug team” from the BBM/SEC collected two more specimens during the Parks Canada-sponsored Kluane Bioblitz in 2017.

New to science, this beetle was aptly named Flaviellus kluanensis Smith & Skelley by researchers from the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. This exciting discovery highlights the importance of caring for natural history collections over the long term, as well as continuing to document the natural world around us by conducting surveys and adding voucher specimens to these collections whenever possible.

Under its new moniker, this darling dung beetle has finally been properly introduced to the scientific community at large. Welcome little one!

For more information:

Smtih, A.B. & Skelley, P.E. 2020. A new species of Flaviellus Gordon & Skelley, 2007 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Aphodiinae) from the Yukon, Canada. The Coleopterists Bulletin 74(1): 101-105.