The genus Prodontria (Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae), which comprises 16 described species, is an endemic southern New Zealand genus occupying lowland and coastal habitats, inter-montane basins and alpine environments. Many of the species have a limited distribution and face potential threats from habitat change and predation. The only species to be formally protected is P. lewisii Broun, commonly known as the Cromwell Chafer, which is now restricted to a 81-ha reserve in Central Otago. One undescribed lowland species might be extinct as a result of habitat modification. The current status of Prodontria species, the known distribution of species and potential threats are discussed.
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Research on P. lewisii was funded by the Department of Conservation. Thanks to Brian Patrick (Otago Museum) and Marcus Simmons for reviewing an earlier draft of this manuscript and the former also for collection information; Eric Edwards and Brian Rance, (Department of Conservation, Southland Conservancy) for collection information; Bruce McKinlay, Mike Tubbs and staff (Department of Conservation, Otago Conservancy) for support and assistance with research in the Cromwell Chafer Reserve; Ricardo Palma (Te Papa), John Early (Auckland Institute and Museum), John Marris (Lincoln University Museum) and Grace Hall (Landcare Research) for label information from specimens in their respective collections; Colin Ferguson and many AgResearch Invermay Biocontrol and Biosecurity staff for assistance with research on P. lewisii.
An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10841-007-9067-8
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Barratt, B.I.P. Conservation status of Prodontria (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) species in New Zealand. J Insect Conserv 11, 19–27 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-006-9015-z
- Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae
- New Zealand