Genus Hybalus (Scarabaeidae, Orphninae)

Orphninae, Hybalus bigibber

Genus Hybalus Dejean, 1833


Type species: Geobius cornifrons Brullé, by monotypy.


Small to medium-sized beetles (length 6.0–11.5 mm), with strongly convex, shiny body. Color dark brown to brown. Clypeus in males with variably developed horn. Disc of pronotum without ridges and excavations but with two small tubercles in some males. Scutellum minute, almost invisible from above. Elytra very convex, relatively short, fused, without humeral umbones. Elytral striae feebly marked, intervals sparsely punctate. Wings absent. Anterior tibiae with 3 outer teeth. Lateral margin basad of outer teeth not crenulated. Anterior coxae without a hollow ventrally, which is apparently a secondary loss. Middle and posterior legs similar in shape; posterior femora and tibiae about 1/8 longer than middle ones. Phallobase with a ventral sclerite having a complex shape. Females are similar to males and differs in having short spur of anterior tibia, and in lacking clypeal horns and pronotal tubercles.

Species composition. 35 species are known.

Distribution. Hybalus is distributed in southern Mediterranean with majority of species occurring in North African mountains, mostly Tell Atlas, Middle Atlas and Er-Rif. Three allopatric species are known from southern Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, and Greece (Peloponnesus). All species are flightless, have restricted ranges and apparently live in colonies. A few species in Tell Atlas have sympatric or parapatric distribution.

Biology. In eastern Middle Atlas, adults of H. rotroui were found in rainy season, mainly from November to March, mostly in soil at depth of 3 to 5 cm (Gourvès, 1988). According to Gourvès, mating takes place underground and 2nd instar larvae have a diapause during dry season. Larvae feed on grass roots and resume feeding activity with the beginning of rain reason (October) to quickly finish development, pupate, and give adults in November. Hybalus cornifrons was recoded as a crop pest in Sicily (de Stefani, 1913; Palmà, 1938).


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Palmà, P. (1938) Primo contributo allô studio dei Lamellicorni fitofagi. Hybalus cornifrons Brullé (Coleoptera Scarabaeidae). Boll. R. Labor. Ent. Agr. Portici, 1, 329-339.

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Stefani, T. d. (1913) Insetti recentemente osservati corne dannosi aile coltivazione. Ann. Agricolt. Sicil., 1, 5.