Aplothorax burchelli Waterhouse

Burchell’s Giant Ground Beetle (Aplothorax burchelli)

Burchell’s Giant Ground Beetle was described in 1841, it was endemic to the island of Saint Helena which lies isolated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The species was completely flightless, it reached a length of 3,8 cm making it the largest of the island’s beetle species.

Burchell’s Giant Ground Beetle had been considered extinct by the end of the 19th century when in 1967 both, adult beetles as well as larvae were found. This rediscovery, however, also marks the last confirmed sighting of this species, because no additional individuals were ever found again since and the species is now clearly extinct. [1][2]



[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row 1877 
[2] Howard Mendel; Philip Ashmole; Myrtle Ashmole: Invertebrates of the Central Peaks and Peak Dale, St. Helena. Report for the St Helena National Trust, Jamestown 2008


Depiction from: ‘John Charles Meliss: St. Helena: A Physical, Historical, and Topographical Description of the Island, including its Geology, Fauna, Flora, and Meteorology. London: L. Reeve & Co. 1875’  

(public domain)


edited: 19.06.2020