The superfamily Scarabaeoidea consists of ~ 35,000 species worldwide, comprising 10 % of all known beetles. In the United States alone there are over 1,500 species (Kriska and Young 2002; Ratcliffe and Paulsen 2008). Scarabaeoid beetles are prominent members of the entomofauna, and have been reported as important biocontrol agents, agricultural pests, and biological indicators.
Our current knowledge of the Maryland Scarabaeoidea is limited to a checklist of 266 species and subspecies from seven families (Staines 1984): Geotrupidae, Glaphyridae, Hybosoridae, Lucanidae, Passalidae, Trogidae, and Scarabaeidae including six subfamilies (Aphodiinae, Cetoniinae, Dynastinae, Melonthinae, Rutelinae, and Scarabaeinae). Although these reports are valuable for historical records, no bioinventories of Scarabs have been conducted in Maryland or the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Research Projects and Interests
The overall goal of my research is to create a Taxonomic Guide to the Scarabaeoidea of Maryland. The main objectives are to:
Conduct the first biodiversity inventory of the Scarabaeoidea of Maryland.
Create keys to the families occurring in Maryland. Each family treatment will include an introduction, keys to all taxa, species descriptions, and notes on the biology, and illustrations.
Maps for all species will be provided with county by county information.
Species of special concern will be noted. his includes species that have been historically reported from Maryland (Staines 1984) but are not found in my collections, or species that are new to the state.
This research will span over several years and will have a special focus on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.