Canthidium darwini is 1 of approximately 4,500 species of dung beetle worldwide.
It was collected as part of the exploration of La Amistad National Park in Panama that took place in 2007 and 2008 as part of a Museum-led project funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) through the Darwin Initiative.
Little is known about this small but beautiful beetle. It is believed to feed on the dung of small mammals, such as mice which it may also use for nest construction.
The name ‘darwini’ is the genitive form of Darwin. This species is primarily dedicated to the eminent biologist and evolutionist Charles Darwin. It is additionally dedicated to the UK Darwin Initiative for their contribution to the preservation of tropical biodiversity and as an acknowledgement for financing the project Basic Tools for Managing the La Amistad (Costa Rica, Panama) International Park.
The species is ground-dwelling in tropical montane wet forest at approximately 1000m altitude.
Find out how you can distinguish Canthidium darwini from its many relatives.
Canthidium darwini illustration.© Claudia Aragón
Presentation event for Canthidium darwini.
An illustration of Canthidium darwini is presented to Hilary Benn, the former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Dr Alex Monro
Researcher, Tropical Plant Diversity, Department of Botany.
"It is not very common to discover new species of dung beetle in this area and so Angel Solís, the Costa Rican entomologist who collected it, was very excited to find this specimen in his pitfall trap. Angel decided to name the species after Charles Darwin in 2009 as it was the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth but also in recognition of the Darwin Initiative whose funding of the project lead to its discovery."
New species of Ateuchus and Canthidium (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) from Costa Rica, Zootaxa 2219: 31–37 (2009)
Biodiversity, conservation, and hotspot atlas of Costa Rica: a dung beetle perspective (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) Zootaxa 1457: 1–34 (2007)