Because of their exceptional size and often bizarre male head and pronotal armament, dung beetles of the genus Heliocopris are quite popular with collectors. Yet, identification of specimens has been difficult and often incorrect, because major, intermediate and minor males of the same species may look very different, whereas females of many species are very similar.
So far there has not been a monograph available that would adequately describe and illustrate all the known species. The aim of the present book is to remedy that situation. The authors have studied extensive material in museum and private collections, and have conducted fieldwork to assemble fresh material. The Introduction delimits the genus against other similar coprine genera, provides an account of its morphology, bionomy and biogeography, presents a checklist of all hitherto published species-group names and geographic distributions for those deemed valid, and gives criteria for dividing the species into five groups. The following key to species is prepared so as to afford accurate determinations of major, intermediate and minor males as well as of females as far as known.
The most substantial part of the book is devoted to species accounts with species ordered alphabetically and each afforded two facing pages, left-hand page containing text and photos of localities, and right-hand page containing habitus illustrations and line drawings pertaining to morphology. The References cite all works important for the study of Heliocopris and include all those containing original descriptions.
The book is intended for curators of museum collections, libraries of educational and research institutions, and all individuals interested in the study of coprophagous scarabs.
Checklist of species-group names
Institutional and geographic abbreviations
Key to species of the genus Heliocopris Hope
About the authors