International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 249–256 | Cite as

Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) in a mosaic habitat at the ecotone between two savanna ecosystems in the Neotropical region

  • Renato Portela SalomãoEmail author
  • Lucas Kaique Sousa Gonçalves
  • Rodrigo Ferreira de Morais
  • Lucas Ramos Costa Lima
Scientific Note


One of the main issues related to the conservation of native ecosystems involves the availability of data regarding the biodiversity present on them. In northeastern Brazil, the state of Piaui comprises an important area of the ecotone between Cerrado and Caatinga, two savannah ecosystems. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze dung beetle diversity at native grasslands and tree clusters, during rainy and dry periods, in one region located at the ecotone between Cerrado and Caatinga, in the state of Piaui. Inventories were performed in two habitats: grasslands and tree clusters. A total of 945 individuals distributed in five species were collected: Canthon cinctellus Germar, 1824, Dichotomius geminatus (Arrow, 1913), Dichotomius nisus (Olivier, 1789), Digitonthophagus gazella (Fabricius, 1787) and Ontherus appendiculatus (Mannerheim, 1829). Canthon cinctellus was the dominant species, comprising more than 90% of the total dung beetle collected. Species abundance was much higher in grassland than in the tree clusters, and none beetles were obtained during the dry period. The species richness observed in the ecotone between Caatinga and Cerrado was low when compared to other similar ecosystems. With this study, there is a total of 13 species recorded in the state of Piaui.


Habitat structure Scarabaeinae Semi-arid Seasonality 



We thank Luis Santiago for the aid in the field trips and analyze of data. We also thank Fernando Zagury Vaz-de-Mello for dung beetle identification. We would like to thank the personnel from Fazenda Piquizeiro for authorizing the fieldwork in this site. We thank Luis Javier Fuentes-Jacques for revising the English text. We are grateful to Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico for a scholarship granted to LKSG. We also thank Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología for a scholarship granted to RPS over the course of this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

The experimentation was no invasive and complied with Brazilian law. At the end of the experiment, the specimens were deposited in the “Laboratório de Biodiversidade – UESPI” and in the “Seção de Entomologia da Coleção Zoológica da UFMT” following standard procedures and there are no conflicts of interest (financial and non-financial).

Human participants and informed consent

There were no humans participants on the study and thus, no ‘informed consent’ was required.


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Copyright information

© African Association of Insect Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Red de EcoetologíaInstituto de Ecología A. CXalapaMexico
  2. 2.Laboratório de BiodiversidadeCampus Heróis do Jenipapo, Universidade Estadual do PiauíCampo MaiorBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Botânica e EtnoecologiaCampus Heróis do Jenipapo, Universidade Estadual do PiauíCampo MaiorBrazil

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