RESOURCES: Beetlemania

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Science  31 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5535, pp. 1563
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5535.1563e

Worshiped by the ancient Egyptians, treasured by modern collectors, and cursed by greenskeepers, scarabs account for about 10% of the world's 350,000 beetle species. Although a few kinds of scarabs feast on lawns or crops, according to curator Mary Liz Jameson of the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln, the majority are pollinators or part of “our unseen garbage patrol” that mulches dead animals and dung. Taxonomists and others interested in this widespread and diverse group should make a sweep through the museum's Scarab Central site. The highlight is an illustrated guide to 23 New World scarab families and subfamilies that offers detailed physical descriptions and information on taxonomy, distribution, ecology, and larval forms. There's also an identification key, a glossary, and a directory of scarab researchers with brief biographies.

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