Scarabaeoidea, or scarab beetles sensu lato, is one of the largest, cosmopolitan groups of animals. This site includes information about systematics, morphology, phylogeny and classification of scarab beetles, mostly those groups studied by the authors.
Subfamily Orphninae (Scarabaeidae) comprises small to medium-sized beetles with characters and appearance being somewhat intermediate between the two major groups of the family — dung beetles and chafers. Orphnines are uniformly colored, brown to black, without any pattern. Surface sculpture vary with majority of species having more or less densely punctate upper side of the body. Majority of genera exhibit strong sexual dimorphism with large males having variably developed clypeal horns and protoracic ridges, somethimes species-specific, but these characters are subject to allometric variability and some males are superficially similar to females.
Scarabaeines (Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae) is a large, worldwide distributed group of beetles. In warmer regions, scarabaeines are especially diverse and prominent and they dominate dung beetle communities. Scarabaeines are sometimes loosely called “true” or “proper” dung beetles, although many taxa never go near dung. Among the latter, there are genera feeding on mushrooms or millipedes. African dung beetle fauna is the largest and most diverse in the world (over 100 genera and over 2000 species) yet it includes a large number of such “aberrant” taxa, notably the genera of the Sarophorus group.