Invertebrate focal taxa that can act as information surrogates for broader patterns of biodiversity are of increasing interest to conservation practitioners. Scarabaeine dung beetles have been widely proposed as an ideal group for biodiversity inventory and monitoring, they satisfy all of the criteria of an ideal focal taxon, and they have already been used in ecological research and biodiversity survey and conservation work in many regions of the world. Here I review the characteristics that make the Scarabaeinae suitable for this purpose and suggest future directions for the broader use of this group as a focal taxon.
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Vol. 60 • No. mo5