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Review of the carrion beetles of Australia and New Guinea (Coleoptera: Silphidae)

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Keys, distribution maps and bionomic summaries are given for the five described species of large carrion beetles (Silphidae) known from Australia and the island of New Guinea. The genera Nicrophorus Fabricius and Diamesus Hope entered Australasia from the north. The Australasian genus Ptomaphila Kirby and Spence has three species and these show a southern or trans-Antarctic sister-group relationship to Oxelytrum Gistel of the Neotropical Region. The Australian species are mostly distributed in forest or scrub habitat within 300 km from the coastline. A phylogeny of Ptomaphila indicates that P. ovata Portevin of New Guinea is most plesiotypic, that P. perlata Kraatz of eastern Australia is intermediate, and that P. lacrymosa (Schreibers) of southern Australia is most apotypic.
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Keywords: biogeography; bionomics; phylogeny; taxonomy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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