Form elongate oval. Labrum vertically produced with respect to the clypeus; clypeus and mentum often with apicomedial projections. Antennae with 9 or 10 segments. Protarsomeres not dorsoventrally flattened and expanded apically; protarsus with claw usually enlarged and often split in males, usually with medial tooth in females. Elytral margin chitinous or membranous.

Classification Status
Anoplognathini is one of six tribes (Rutelini, Anomalini, Spodochlamyini, Geniatini, Adoretini, and Anoplognathini) currently recognized in the subfamily Rutelinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Anoplognathines have long been recognized as a distinct group within the Scarabaeoidea. MacLeay (1819) was the first to erect the family group names Rutelinae (as Rutelidae) and Anoplognathini (as Anoplognathidae), but each had a very different composition from their current concepts. MacLeay's Rutelidae consisted of the modern tribe Rutelini while his Anoplognathidae consisted of the modern Anoplognathini, Geniatini, and Apogonia Kirby (a Melolonthinae genus). Burmeister (1844) was the first to classify Anoplognathini in the modern sense. His "Anoplognathidae" contained all of the taxa currently considered to be in the group and that were known at the time. Burmeister also classified the anoplognathines in the "Phyllophaga Metallica" with the rest of the taxa now considered to be in the subfamily Rutelinae. Ohaus (1918) was the first to divide the subfamily Rutelinae into two groups based on the form of the labrum: the Rutelinae homalochilidae (Anomalini and Rutelini) with a labrum parallel to the clypeus, and the Rutelinae orthochilidae (Adoretini, Anoplognathini, Geniatini, and Spodochlamyini) with the labrum perpendicular to the clypeus. Ohaus (1904a, 1904b, 1905, 1918) also did a major taxonomic overhaul on the Anoplognathini, dividing the tribe into the five currently recognized subtribes: Anoplognathina, Schizognathina, Brachysternina, Phalangogoniina, and Platycoeliina. The Australian subtribes of Anoplognathini were later reviewed by Carne (1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958). Carne (1958) mentioned some problems with Ohaus' classification scheme in the context of Australian Rutelinae but did not make any changes to Rutelinae classification above the generic level. Machatschke (1965, 1972) mimicked Ohaus' classification scheme in the most recent world catalogs of the subfamily Rutelinae, but was critical of Ohaus' division of Rutelinae tribes into multiple subtribes because many of these groups were based on a single character. All three of the Neotropical subtribes have recently been revised (Brachysternina by Jameson and Smith [2002], Ratcliffe and Ocampo [2002], and Smith [2002]; Phalangogoniina by Smith and Morón [2003]; and Platycoeliina by Smith [2003]).
A preliminary phylogenetic research on the tribe Anoplognathini has supported the monophyly of the Neotropical subtribes of Anoplognathini (Brachysternina, Phalangogoniina, Platycoeliina), but not the Australian subtribes (Anoplognathina, Schizognathina). Preliminary molecular phylogenetics results of the phytophagous scarabs place serious doubt on the monophyly of the tribe Anoplognathini. The Brachysternina and the Australian taxa do seem to form a monophyletic clade but the Phalangogoniina and Platycoeliina are quite divergent and will probably need to be reclassified somehow within the Rulteinae.

The tribe Anoplognathini is endemic to the Australian and Neotropical realms. The five subtribes are distributed as follows: Anoplognathina (Australia and New Guinea), Schizognathina (Australia), Brachysternina (Chile, Argentina), Phalangogoniina (México and Central America), and Platycoeliina (Neotropics, mainly in the Andes Mountains and montaine areas of Central America).

Genera Profiles (click on species names)

References Cited

Burmeister, H. 1844. Handbuch der Entomologie, vol. 4, part 1. T. C. F. Enslin, Berlin. 586 pp.

Carne, P. B. 1954. Notes on the Australian Rutelinae (Coleoptera) and description of a new genus. Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London (Series B) 23: 36-40.

Carne, P. B. 1955. Notes on the Australian Rutelinae (Scarabaeidae, Coleoptera). Suppression of a generic name under Clilopocha Lea. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 80(2): 137.

Carne, P. B. 1956.
A revision of Saulostomus Waterhouse and description of a new ruteline genus (Scarabaeidae, Coleoptera). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 81(1): 62-70.

Carne, P. B. 1957. A revision of the ruteline genus Anoplognathus Leach (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 5(1): 88-143.

Carne, P. B. 1958. A review of the Australian Rutelinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 6(2): 162-240.

Jameson, M. L. and A. B. T. Smith. 2002. Revision of the South American genus Brachysternus Guérin-Méneville (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae: Anoplognathini: Brachysternina). Coleopterists Bulletin 56:321-366.

Laporte, F. L. (Comte de Castelnau). 1840.
Histoire Naturelle des Insectes Coléoptères (volume 2 of Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés). P. Duménil, Paris. 564 pp.

Machatschke, J. W. 1965. Coleoptera Lamellicornia. fam. Scarabaeidae, subfam. Rutelinae, section Rutelinae Orthochilidae. Genera Insectorum 199C:1-145.

Machatschke, J. W. 1972. Scarabaeoidea: Melolonthidae, Rutelinae. Coleopterum Catalogus Supplementa 66(1):1-361.

MacLeay, W. S. 1819. Horae Entomologicae: or Essays on the Annulose Animals, volume 1, part 1. S. Bagster, London. 160 pp.

Ohaus, F. 1904a. Revision der Anoplognathiden (Coleoptera lamellicornia). Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 65:57-175.

Ohaus, F. 1904b. Revision der amerikanischen Anoplognathiden (Coleoptera lamellicornia). Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 65:254-341.

Ohaus, F. 1905.
Revision der amerikanischen Anoplognathiden (Coleoptera lamellicornia). Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 66:120-167.

Ohaus, F. 1918. Scarabaeidae: Euchirinae, Phaenomerinae, Rutelinae. Coleopterorum Catalogus 20:1-241. [dated 1915].

Ratcliffe, B. C. and F. Ocampo. 2002. A review of the genus Hylamorpha Arrow (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae: Anoplognathini: Brachysternina). Coleopterists Bulletin 56:367-378.

Smith, A. B. T. 2002. Revision of the southern South American endemic genus Aulacopalpus Guérin-Méneville with phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses of the subtribe Brachysternina (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae: Anoplognathini). Coleopterists Bulletin 56:379-437.

Smith, A. B. T. 2003.
A monographic revision of the genus Platycoelia Dejean (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae: Anoplognathini). Bulletin of the University of Nebraska State Museum 15: 1-202.

Smith, A. B. T. and M. A. Morón. 2003.
Revision and phylogenetic analysis of the Central American endemic genus Phalangogonia Burmeister (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae: Anoplognathini). Systematic Entomology 28: 323-338.