Accounts and photographs are provided for over 500 scarabaeine dung beetle species recorded in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. This amounts to an estimated 80% of the regional fauna with the missing species primarily belonging to a single tribe (Onthophagini) for which validation of names and description of new species is an ongoing task. The accounts for tribes, genera and validated species provide information on taxonomic and conservation status, geographical range and distribution, temporal and climatic range, as well as notes on associations with soil, vegetation and food type (where available).
Following the species accounts, is a short synthesis of current dung beetle systematics and its shortcomings, analyses of group distribution patterns across southern Africa, and threats to conservation of the dung beetle fauna.
In addition, several large tables provide quick reference to range size, distribution pattern and conservation status, as well as climatic and ecological associations of each species (where known). Although intended as a field guide, the information presented in this comprehensive reference will be useful in identifying individual species.