Conrad Gillett


Conrad Gillet

Conrad Gillett with Dynastes hercules and Megasoma actaeon in Orellana, Ecuador,
August 2007.


I have studied scarabs and other beetles since childhood, when I was brought up in Brazil, Europe and the Middle East, acquiring a passion for nature in general, and for beetles in particular. My professional entomological work has recently concentrated on using and
developing advanced high-throughput molecular tools for characterizing beetle diversity and evolution, with a focus on the highly diverse phytophagous superfamily
Curculionoidea, but my interest in scarabs remains undiminished.

My present primary scarab interests lie in the systematics, faunistics, and ecology of the subfamilies Scarabaeinae and Dynastinae, although I also have strong interests in Cetoniinae, and Rutelinae, as well as Geotrupidae and Lucanidae. I have a particularly good knowledge of the Palaearctic fauna and of several Neotropical groups.

After completing a M.Sc.  in taxonomy and biodiversity at The Imperial College, London,
where I focused on the phylogeny of Cerambycidae, I worked as curator of Coleoptera in
the (former) Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London for three years, gaining valuable experience in one of the finest and most comprehensive
entomological collections in the world. Concurrently, I also regularly volunteered at the
Hope Entomological Collections of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, where
I identified and mounted scarabs and re-curated some of their holdings. During 2009-2010,
I was the curator of invertebrates at the National Zoological Collections of Suriname, where
I undertook research fieldwork in Amazonia and developed the collections.

I gained a Ph.D. from the NHM and the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 2014, conducting
original biomolecular research on the higher-level relationships within the weevils. This
project was supervised by Dr. B. Emerson and Prof. A. Vogler, culminating in the successful
reconstruction of the most densely sampled molecular phylogeny of weevils to that date. In
addition to traditional taxonomic methods, I am trained in advanced molecular phylogenetics laboratory techniques and in computational bioinformatics analyses of genomic data obtained through contemporary high-throughput sequencing technologies.

I have since worked in diverse academic positions, including as a lecturer and module
organizer in biodiversity at UEA, and as a senior research assistant in evolutionary biology
in the laboratory of Prof. M. Gage, studying the effects of sexual selection in a Tribolium model system. My postdoctoral experience has included working as a research
scholar at the University of Florida in Dr. J. Hulcr’s lab, investigating ambrosia beetle-
fungal-bacterial symbioses.

I am presently a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. D. Rubinoff’s lab at the University
of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, investigating the diversity, evolution, and biogeography of the native
Hawaiian bark and ambrosia beetles through targeted fieldwork and molecular analyses. I
am also curator/collection manager of the University of Hawaiʻi Insect Museum in

I have always enjoyed fieldwork and have lived on five ‘continents’, undertaking insect
sampling in: the Atlantic rainforest, Amazon basin, Brazilian cerrado and caatinga, the
Guyanan shield, tropical and temperate Andes, Patagonia, Central America, Eastern and
Western North America, the Caribbean, the Arabian Peninsula, tropical and southern Africa,
tropical and temperate Asia, the Hawaiian Islands, and across much of Europe, particularly
the Mediterranean Basin.



Conrad P.D.T. Gillett | Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Curator
University of Hawaiʻi Insect Museum
Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, Entomology
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 3050 Maile Way, Room 310
Honolulu, HI, 96822-2231, USA



  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. et A. Drumont (In press). Macrodontia crenata (Olivier, 1795) au Suriname (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Prioninae). Les Cahiers Magellanes
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., J.E.D.T. Gillett, and M.P.T. Gillett (In press). Mis à jour des données pour le bousier endémique brésilien Diabroctis pseudomimas Valois, Harada, Vaz-de-Mello et Silva, 2018 (Scarabaeidae : Scarabaeinae : Phanaeini). L'Entomologiste
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and E.F.A. Toussaint (2020). Macroevolution and shifts in the feeding biology of the New World scarab beetle tribe Phanaeini (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society Advanced article; DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/blaa058
  • Bernard, J. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2020). A new species of cylindrical bark beetle (Zopheridae: Colydiinae) from Vanuatu establishes in Hawaii. Zootaxa 4809 (3): 593–599; DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4809.3.12
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., K.H. Osborne, J.B. Reil, and D. Rubinoff (2020). A new species of melolonthine chafer in the endemic Californian genus Dinacoma Casey (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Journal of Insect Biodiversity 017(2): 28–35; DOI: 10.12976/jib/2020.17.2.1
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., D. Honsberger, C. Elliott, and D. Rubinoff. (2020). Two endemic species of Hawaiian bark beetles newly recorded from the island of Molokaʻi (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 146(1): 251–257; DOI: 10.3157/061.146.0108
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., F. Yousuf, and D. Rubinoff (2020). First host plant record for the endemic Hawaiian ambrosia beetle Xyleborus pleiades Samuelson, 1981 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 52: 5–7 DOI:
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and I. Barr (2020). First record of the entimine weevil genus Rhigus Schoenherr, 1823 in Peru: Rhigus speciosus (Linnaeus, 1758) in Madre de Dios (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Entimini). The Coleopterists Bulletin 74(1): 195–196; DOI: 10.1649/0010–065X–74.1.195
  • Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2019). Nemocephalus monilis (Fabricius, 1787) (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea: Brentidae), an Apparently Recent Arrival and Effective Colonizer of the Oceanic Island of Saba, Dutch Caribbean. The Coleopterists Bulletin 73(4): 871–874; DOI: 10.1649/0010–065X–73.4.871
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., D. Gomez, M. de Maria, et E.R. Morelli. (2019). Nouveaux signalements pour deux Coléoptères Dynastides des tribus Oryctini et Pentodontini en Uruguay (Coleoptera Scarabaeidae Dynastinae). L'Entomologiste 75(5): 273–276
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2019). Gnorimus nobilis (L., 1758) en Lozère méridionale (Scarabaeidae Cetoniinae Trichinii). L'Entomologiste 75(5): 317–318
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., C. Elliott, and D. Rubinoff (2019). Records of seven species of native and exotic bark beetles new to Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Dry Forest Unit, Hawaii Island (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Fragmenta Entomologica 51(2): 233–240; DOI: 10.4081/fe.2019.381
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., D. Honsberger, and D. Rubinoff (2019). Rediscovery of the Hawaiian endemic bark beetle Xyleborus pleiades Samuleson, 1981 on Molokaʻi, with records of three new exotic bark beetles for the island (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae: Xyleborini). Journal of Natural History 53(23–34): 1481–1490; DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2019.1657976
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., J.E.D.T. Gillett, et M.P.T. Gillett (2019). Premier signalement du staphylin bourdon Emus hirtus (Linné, 1758) pour la faune de la Grèce (Coleoptera Staphylinidae Staphylininae). L'Entomologiste 75(2): 73–76
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., I. Pulakkatu–thodi, and D. Rubinoff (2018) Rediscovery of an enigmatic bark beetle endemic to the Hawaiian Islands (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 72(4): 811–815; DOI: 10.1649/0010–065X–72.4.811
  • Li, You., Y. Ruan, M. Kasson, E. Stanley, C.P.D.T. Gillett, A. Johnson, M. Zhang, and J. Hulcr (2018). 3–D structure of the ambrosia beetle mycangia and prothoracic musculature revealed through micro–CT. Journal of Insect Science 18(5): 1–8; DOI: 10.1093/jisesa/iey096
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and I. Barr (2018). New country records of scarab dung beetles in Swaziland and Zambia (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 72(3):433–438; DOI: 10.1649/0010–065X–72.3.433
  • Linard, B., A. Crampton–Platt, J. Moriniere, M.J.T.N. Timmermans, C. Andujar, P. Arribas, K. E. Miller, J. Lipecki, E. Favreau, A. Hunter, C. Gómez–Rodríguez, C. Barton, R. Nie, C.P.D.T. Gillett, T. Breeschoten, L. Bocak, and A.P. Vogler (2018). The contribution of mitochondrial metagenomics to large–scale data mining and phylogenetic analysis of Coleoptera. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 128: 1–11; DOI:1 0.1016/j.ympev.2018.07.008
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., C.H. Lyal, A.P. Vogler, and B.C. Emerson (2018). Statistical evaluation of monophyly in the ‘broad–nosed weevils’ through molecular phylogenetic analysis combining mitogenomic and single–locus sequences (Curculionidae: Entiminae, Cyclominae, and Hyperinae). Diversity 10(2), 21: 1–15; Commemorative Special Issue ‘Systematics and Phylogeny of Weevils’ DOI: 10.3390/d10020021 
  • Toussaint, E.F.A. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2018). Rekindling Jeannel’s Gondwanan vision? A first glance at the evolution of Carabinae with a focus on Calosoma caterpillar hunter beetles. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 123(1): 191–207; DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/blx128
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and D. Rubinoff (2017). A second adventive species of pinhole–borer (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae) on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 49: 51–57; DOI:
  • Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2017). New observations on three species of eucraniine dung beetles in Mendoza and San Juan Provinces, Argentina (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 71(4): 817–820; DOI: 10.1649/0010–065X–71.4.817
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2017). Records of the tiger beetles Cylindera (Plectographa) apiata apiata (Dejean, 1825) and C. (P.) drakei drakei (Horn, 1892) from Mendoza Province, Argentina (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae). Cicindela 49(2–3): 37–40
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., A.J. Johnson, I. Barr, and J. Hulcr (2016). Metagenomic sequencing of dung beetle intestinal contents directly detects and identifies mammalian fauna. bioRxiv; DOI: 10.1101/074849
  • Young, M.T., L. Steel, D. Foffa, S.L. Brusatte, J.J.N. Kitson, C.P.D.T. Gillett, M.A. Bell, R. Allain, and Y. Lepage (pre–print, 2015). An early origin and diversification of macrophagous metriorhynchid crocodylomorphs, with evidence for multiple instances of parallel evolution. PeerJ; DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.1345v1
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2015). The Dynastinae of the island of Saba, Dutch Caribbean (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Insecta Mundi 0433: 1–9
  • Linard, B., A. Crampton–Platt, C.P.D.T. Gillett, M.J.T.N Timmermans, and A.P. Vogler (2015). Metagenome skimming of insect specimen pools: potential for comparative genomics. Genome Biology and Evolution 7(6): 1474–1489; DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evv086
  • Gillett C.P.D.T., A. Crampton–Platt, M.J.T.N Timmermans, B.H. Jordal, B.C. Emerson, and A.P. Vogler (2014). Bulk de novo mitogenome assembly from pooled total DNA elucidates the phylogeny of weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea). Molecular Biology and Evolution 31(8): 2223–2237; DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msu154
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and R. Preziosi (2010). A new record and locality for the Neotropical scarab beetle Ontherus compressicornis Luederwaldt, 1931 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Lambillionea 110(1): 88–90
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., M.P.T. Gillett, J.E.D.T. Gillett and F.Z. Vaz–de–Mello (2010). Diversity and distribution of the scarab beetle tribe Phanaeini in the northern states of the Brazilian Northeast (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Insecta Mundi 0118:1–19
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T., A. Drumont and Y. Ponchel (2010). The rare rhinoceros beetle Ceratophileurus lemoulti Ohaus, 1911 in French Guiana and Suriname (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidea: Dynastinae: Phileurini). Zookeys 34: 193–198; DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.34.240
  •  Noriega, J.A., C.P.D.T. Gillett, A. Sandoval–Mojica, J.I. Blanco, L.C. Pardo, G. Valencia and A. Santibáñez (2009). New records and distributional range extension for Phanaeus haroldi Kirsch, 1871 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): A consolidation of biological and biogeographic information. Lambillionea 109(4):403–414
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). A new country record for Chrysina (Plusiotis) diversa Ohaus, 1912 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae) in Central America. Insecta Mundi 0108: 1–3
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). New records of dynastine scarab beetles in the tribes Oryctini, Agaocephalini and Dynastini from Cayo district, Belize (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Insecta Mundi 0099: 1–9
  • Gillett, M.P.T and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Confirmation of the occurrence of Temnorhynchus baal Reiche & Saulcy on the island of Naxos, Greece (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Lambillionea 109(2):198–199
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T, W.D. Edmonds and S. Villamarin (2009). Distribution and biology of the rare scarab beetle Megatharsis buckleyi Waterhouse, 1891 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae: Phanaeini). Insecta Mundi 0080: 1–8
  • Moravec, J. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Annotated list of specimens of Madagascan Cicindelidae deposited in The Natural History Museum London. Folia Heyrovskyana, series A 16(4): 131–154
  • Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2009). Cleridae of the United Arab Emirates and Northern Oman. Lambillionea 109(1): 89–94
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Dichotomius maya Peraza & Deloya, 2006 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Coprini) in Belize, a new country record for this Central American dung beetle. Insecta Mundi 0064: 1–4
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2008). Bubas bubaloides Janssens, 1938 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in Europe. Lambillionea 108(4): 529–533
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2007). A new record and locality for Megapenthes lugens (Redtenbacher, 1842) (Elateridae) in Southern England: Silwood Park, Berkshire. The Coleopterist 16(3): 146–148
  • Rejzek, M., C.P.D.T. Gillett, A. Drumont and M.P.T. Gillett (2005). On the distribution and biology of the Genus Anthracocentrus Quentin & Villiers, 1983 in the Persian Gulf region (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae, Prioninae). Lambillionea 105(3): 353–369
  • Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2002). A winter survey of insects and other terrestrial invertebrates on Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi. Tribulus 12(2): 12–19
  • Gillett, M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (1997). A solitary representative of the flower chafer beetles in the Al Ain region: Stalagmosoma albella (Pallas, 1781) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Tribulus 7(1): 22

Book chapters, newsletter and magazine articles, book prefaces etc.

  • Gillett M.P.T. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2005). Insects and other arthropods. In: The Emirates: A Natural History. Hellyer P. and Aspinall S. J. [eds], pp 168–194 and 352–356. Trident Press, London.
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2011). Preface. In Carvajal L., C. Villamarin, and A. M. Ortega A. Escarabajos del Ecuador: Principales géneros. Serie Entomología, No. 1. Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas. Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito, Ecuador.
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and A. Sedláček (2010). Beginner’s guide: Geotrupidae. Beetle News 2(2): 5– 8
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T (2010). Scarabeoid species of the day.Scarabs 60: 8
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2010) Surinamese scarabaeological sojourn – A Year in the Amazon, Part 2: March–May 2009. Scarabs 56: 1–7
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2010) Surinamese scarabaeological sojourn – A Year in the Amazon, Part 1: March–May 2009. Scarabs 55: 1–7
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M. Bunalski. (2009). Beginner’s guide: Scarabaeidae: Onthophagus. Beetle News 1(2): 7– 11
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Beautiful scarabs in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London. Scarabs 46:4–7
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. and M.P.T. Gillett (2009). A very simple and effective trap for necrophagous Scarabaeinae. Scarabs 42: 17–21
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Some unusual scarabs from the collections of the Natural History Museum, London (BMNH). Scarabs 40: 1–5
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). A passion for French rose chafers: an exceptional site for Cetoniinae in Ardèche, France. Scarabs 36:1–12
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2009). Anonymous contributions gratefully accepted! Scarabs 35: 4–5
  • Gillett, C.P.D.T. (2008). Collecting in Belize May/June 2006. Scarabs 29: 1–14
  • Sturge, H. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2013) Ask the scientist. Wild World 6:10–11 (interview for NHM children’s magazine)
  • Sturge, H. and C.P.D.T. Gillett (2008). What’s it like to work at the museum? Second Nature 25:19 (interview for NHM children’s magazine)

Publications in the media

Science – ‘Can’t find that rare leopard anywhere? Ask a dung beetle.

Popular Science – ‘The DNA inside dung beetles' guts could help to identify other animals.’


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