Typhaeus hiostius 

Scope: Global, Europe & Mediterranean
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Coleoptera Geotrupidae

Scientific Name: Typhaeus hiostius Gene, 1836
Typhaeus matutinalis (Baudi, 1870)
Typhoeus hiostius Gene, 1836
Taxonomic Source(s): Löbl, I., Krell, F.T., Ziani, S. and Král, D. 2006. Scarabaeidae, subfamily Scarabaeinae, tribe Onthophagin. In: I. Löbl and A. Smetana (eds), Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera. Volume 3. Scarabaeoidea – Scirtoidea – Dascilloidea – Buprestoidea – Byrrhoidea, pp. 159-176. Apollo Books, Stenstrup.
Taxonomic Notes:

Recently, Dellacasa and Dellacasa (2008), has elevated Chelotrupes to the genus rank. Moreover they propose Typhaeus matutinalis (first considered as synonymous of hiostius) as a valid species. Given that both proposed taxa occurs in sympatry in the majority of their ranges and that genus Chelotrupes have high morphological variability (Verdú pers. obs.), on a precautionary basis and pending further molecular analysis that verify such status, Typhaeus will be considered as genus and T. matutinalis as a synonym of T. hiostius in this assessment. 

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-07-24
Assessor(s): Tonelli, M., Dellacasa, M., Verdú, J.R. & Ruiz, J.
Reviewer(s): Gerlach, J. & Numa, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Numa, C.
This is a range restricted species, with an area of occupancy (AOO) of 300 km2, which mainly inhabits sandy coastal undisturbed ecosystems. The habitat is in continuous decline and undergoing degradation due to the development of tourist infrastructure and agriculture. Given its habitat requirements and its apterous condition, the population can be considered severely fragmented. More conservation efforts should be directed towards the protection and recovery of the dune, backdunes and other coastal ecosystems, the maintaining of the traditional grazing activities and the recovery of rabbit populations. Thus, this species is listed as Endangered B2ab(iii).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is endemic to Sardinia. Within this territory, the species seems to be concentrated mainly on the southwest coasts of the island. This is probably because in these areas human development of low coasts and beaches is low. There are dubious records for Sicily, Greece and the Balearic Islands which need to be confirmed (Dellacasa and Dellacasa 2008).

Countries occurrence:
Italy (Sardegna)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:300
Upper elevation limit (metres):850
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Locally it can be abundant, although in all cases the occupied area is very restricted and in decline. The fragmented and sporadic distribution is probably due to the necessity of a particular trophic source (rabbits and hare dung) for the construction of pedotrophics nests. It is suspected that subpopulations could not be viable in at least 50% of the area of occurrence because the typical habitat of the species is currently distributed in few patches isolated by coastal tourism infrastructures and this species has reduced dispersal capacity due to its apterism. Although there are good subpopulations in protected areas, the population is considered to be severely fragmented 
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The species inhabit sands with sparse vegetation (CORINE LandCover 2006). It is mainly distributed in coastal zones (70% of localities) with scattered subpopulations inland (Dellacasa and Dellacasa 2008, Carpaneto et al. 2011). The species is common in uncultivated areas covered by Mediterranean vegetation in its natural state, which are not populated and undisturbed. It prefers sandy soils which are not overly compacted and well drained (e.g. typical soil in which this species is found is formed by: skeleton 3%, coarse sand 42%, fine sand 46%,  silt 9% and clay 3% with a pH of 7.2-7.5.). 

It is an oligotopic, flightless telecoprid species present all year round (except for the warmer months). For the provisioning of the pedotrophics nests it is almost exclusively linked to the droppings of wild rabbits and hares, although it may occasionally use those of sheep and goats (Crovetti 1970, 1971; Dellacasa pers. obs.). New generations tend to nest near the maternal nest, with minimal dispersion (Crovetti 1971).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is currently not utilized by humans.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

About 40% of the preferred habitat of this species has undergone an anthropization process (Onori 2010). The sites near Arbus municipality (Piscinas; Ingurtosu) are very important for this species due to the presence of dunal and backdunal ecosystems. These environments are threatened by the increasing demand for coastal tourism infrastructure. An increase in areas used for cultivation (e.g. in the southwest - Campidano) is also observed.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

It is necessary to maintain the species' typical habitat by preventing unsustainable coastal development related to tourist activities, simulating the traditional farming activities especially of sheep and goats, maintaining the environmental conditions that allow the persistence of wild rabbits and hares, and protecting coastal areas where the species occurs, especially the areas near Arbus municipality (Piscinas, Ingurtosu).

Citation: Tonelli, M., Dellacasa, M., Verdú, J.R. & Ruiz, J. 2015. Typhaeus hiostius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T40723A48037446. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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