Among schools of thought in comparative research, Rational Choice Theory (rct) is both the most systematic and the most contested. rct lacks a “classical” foundation but offers a clear internal theory structure. The rationality assumption contains an unquestioned heuristic aspect, although the determinants of choice (especially preferences) lack a universally accepted solution. The choice aspect addresses the understanding of social phenomena as the result of individual actions seen in light of the possible alternatives. This view unifies scholars in the Rational Choice tradition and leads to the macro-micro-macro-scheme. Micro-oriented comparative research has flourished through the availability of multi-level data sets in fields such as social capital theory, social stratification and mobility, including educational attainment or the inclusion of migrants, family studies, criminology, and labor markets. Institutional rct-based comparative research has addressed welfare states, religion, and general questions. In both aspects, rct leaves room for further productivity in comparative research.
Clarke Scholtz and Vasily Grebennikov
External morphology of late-instar larvae and pupae of the coleopteran family Dascillidae is revised. Larvae studied for Dascillus Latreille with two species from Europe and North America, Notodascillus Carter from Australia and Pleolobus Philippi from Chile; pupae studied for D. davidsoni LeConte. Larval diagnosis and description of the family are updated. Dascillid larvae exhibit little morphological variation and share eight apparently apomorphic characters. Widely accepted sister-group relationship between Dascillidae and Rhipiceridae is not supported with larval morphology because ectoparasitic larvae of Rhipiceridae are poorly known and apparently highly modified morphologically. The superfamily Scarabaeoidea is unlikely to be a close relative of Dascillidae since this hypothesis is based mainly on habitat-dependent convergences of soil-dwellers (grub-like body shape, reduced stemmata) or possible symplesiomorphic similarities. Ten similarities between larvae of Dascillidae and Eulichadidae (Dryopoidea) were found. Some of these are possibly synapomorphies of these two groups. Larval and pupal morphology of Dascillidae is illustrated by 26 drawings.
Claudia Medina and Clarke Scholtz
The genus Epirinus is reviewed. It consists of 29 species, including six new ones described in this paper: E. aquilus, E. hluhluwensis, E. minimus, E. ngomae, E. pseudorugosus and E. sebastiani. A key to all the species of Epririnus is provided as are distribution map and illustrations of the most important morphological features to distinguish the species. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus are investigated, using cladistic analysis of 79 morphological characters including male and female genitalia. Various synapomorphies support the genus Epirinus as a monophyletic group of species. They are: shape of the internal border of the eye, genital segment with short projections, and presence of sclerite “X” in the internal male genitalia. There is no support for the flightless species to be treated as a separate genus, as has been proposed in the past.
Deschodt, Scholtz and Kryger
Presently 21 canthonine genera with 89 species are presently known from Africa. In this paper we describe three new species collected in rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis (Pallas)) dung middens. They are Dicranocara tatasensis Deschodt and Scholtz sp. n., Dicranocara inexpectata Deschodt and Scholtz sp. n., and Namakwanus davisi Deschodt and Scholtz sp. n. In addition, we describe the immature stages and provide new information on the biology of Dicranocara deschodti Frolov and Scholtz and Namakwanus davisi. The known distribution of all the south-west African endemic canthonine species is also updated. Additionally, a 743 base pair long fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (CO I) gene is used to construct a molecular phylogeny for the genus Dicranocara Frolov and Scholtz. In the resultant trees, D. tatasensis, D. inexpectata and D. deschodti form three monophyletic groups with high bootstrap support. Applying a molecular clock to the sequence divergences dates the separation of the three species to 3.2 – 2.47 million years before present.
Werner Strümpher and Clarke Scholtz
A new species of Trox, T. mozalae, from coastal sand forest in Mozambique, is described. T. natalensis quadricostatus Scholtz is elevated to species-level and T. natalensis schaborti Scholtz and T. elizabethae van der Merwe & Scholtz are synonymised with it. A key to the subgenus Phoberus MacLeay, to which most of the flightless species in Africa belong, is provided. All species incorporated into the key are illustrated by photographs of habitus and aedeagi. A map is provided of the distribution of each of them.
Edmonds, T. Keith Philips and Clarke Scholtz
A phylogenetic analysis of Phanaeini based on 137 morphological characters supports the hypothesis that the nine included genera, Coprophanaeus, Dendropaemon, Diabroctis, Homalotarsus, Megatharsis, Oxysternon, Phanaeus, Sulcophanaeus and Tetrameira, form a monophyletic clade. Monophyly is unaffected by the inclusion of Gromphas, Oruscatus, and Bolbites and these should also be considered phanaeines. The sister lineage is Ennearabdus (Eucraniini) and both evolved from ancestral Dichotomiini within South America. There is no support for a close relationship with the Onitini or any other remaining tribe. All phanaeine genera appear to be monophyletic except Sulcophanaeus, of which two species groups appear as sister taxa while the remaining three form an independent paraphyletic clade. Ancestral phanaeines were coprophagous with necrophagy evolving at least twice. Myrmecophily is also derived and most likely evolved only once in the common ancestor of Dendropaemon, Homalotarsus, Megatharsis and Tetramereia. Bare dung ball construction for larval development is also the most likely ancestral condition with a soil covering on the exterior ball surface and parental cooperation evolving in the more derived lineages.
Daegan Inward, Malcolm Kerley and Clarke Scholtz
Scholtz and Inward, is described from Thailand. The new species belongs to the
species-group, a mainly eastern Palaearctic group consisting of 12 species. Habitus drawings of the
adult and male genitalia are provided. All members of the species-group are re-examined, a map of species distribution and a tabulated key to the group is provided, and their male genitalia illustrated. The biogeography of the trogid genera
is discussed and contrasted. We suggest that
sp. nov. is a relict species, persisting in a tropical region where it is now quite isolated from most other members of the predominantly Palaearctic