Assessor: Riaan Stals
Colophon eastmani Barnard, 1932
FAMILY Lucanidae (stag beetles)
- Genus Colophon: Cape Mountain Stag Beetles
- Species Colophon eastmani: Eastman's Cape Mountain Stag Beetle
Taxon concept: The species concept employed here is that of Endrödy-Younga (1988), as expressed for the originally monotypic Colophon eastmani in the sense of Barnard (1932: 174). Also see Jacobs, Scholtz & Strümpher (2015: 141).
Colophon eastmani was split into two subspecies with the erection of Colophon eastmani nagaii Mizukami, 1996 (in Japanese, of which an English version was published in Mizukami & Kawai 1997: 54, 56). The species was polytypic, with two subspecies (the nominotypical and nagaii), until Jacobs, Scholtz & Strümpher (2015: 141) raised Colophon eastmani nagaii to species level, creating as valid the species Colophon nagaii Mizukami, 1996, and in effect restoring Colophon eastmani to its original, monotypic status, as described by Barnard (1932) and redescribed by Endrödy-Younga (1988).
For Colophon nagaii Mizukami, 1996, valid as a separate species since 2015-12-09, see the pertaining NSSL species entry.
2. Prior, existing or proposed conservation status
2.1. Published IUCN Red List Status (1996)
Endangered B1+2e (ver. 2.3).
Annotation: Needs updating.
Note: This evaluation of the species pertained only to the nominotypical subspecies, since the subspecies Colophon eastmani nagaii was at that stage unknown to Bellamy and Endrödy-Younga. In other words, this evaluation was of the monotypic species Colophon eastmani as described by Barnard (1932) and redescribed by Endrödy-Younga (1988) (see above).
REFERENCE: Bellamy & Endrödy-Younga (1996e).
2.2. IUCN Red List Status revised 2011 (unpublished)
Re-evaluated in May 2011. Submitted to IUCN, but unpublished.
Red List Status: XXXX.
REFERENCE: Switala, Stals & Raimondo (2011e).
Comment on the 2011 Red List evaluation:
XXXXXX BOTH SUBSPECIES IMPLICITLY INCLUDED/LUMPED #####
2.3. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Listed in Appendix III since anno 2000.
- Listed as "Colophon spp." to which interpretative note No. 2 refers: "The abbreviation “spp.” is used to denote all species of a higher taxon."
REFERENCE: CITES Appendices valid from 2017-10-04.
2.4. Threatened or Protected Species (ToPS) list, 2007
"Colophon spp – All species" listed in category: Endangered Species.
2.5. Threatened or Protected Species (ToPS) list, revised 2011 (unpublished)
•• Revised lists published for public comment: Notice 389 of 2013, Government Gazette No. 36375, 16 April 2013.
Proposed to be listed in category: Endangered. This implicitly included both subspecies Colophon eastmani eastmani and Colophon eastmani nagaii. This category needs to be revised (see above).
2.6. National Sensitive Species List, 2010
Listed as Colophon eastmani, implicitly including both subspecies Colophon eastmani eastmani and Colophon eastmani nagaii.
2.7. Western Cape Province, Nature Conservation Ordinance 19 of 1974, as amended by Proclamation 24 of 1992
“Genus Colophon: All species” listed in Schedule 1 as Endangered Wild Animal.
3. Exploitation extent
Specimens of any and all Lucanidae (stag beetles) have for many decades been probably the most sought-after beetles among armchair and safari collectors in affluent communities. A simple Google search will reveal the enormous extent of international trade in stag beetles, both as dead, preserved specimens and as livestock. Two enduring trends in the trade of beetles are the following:
- Rare, scarce and other difficult-to-obtain beetle species are more valuable than commoner species or species that are easier to obtain, and rare and scarce beetle species command higher prices.
- Larger individual specimens within any collectable beetle species are more valuable than smaller specimens and command higher prices.
Among stag beetles worldwide, the species of Colophon (Cape Mountain Stag Beetles) are only of moderate size. They are, however, widely considered as among the rarest of all stag beetles, or even as the rarest of all stag beetle species in the world. They are frequently marketed and advertised as such. Colophon specimens are said to be particularly prized among beetle collectors.
All the species of the genus Colophon are endemic to the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Twenty-one species are presently known and considered valid. Wealthy armchair and safari collectors of beetles have a general aim to own a "complete" collection, meaning representative specimens of all the species and subspecies within a focal taxonomic group, in this case the genus Colophon.
For perhaps more than a century and a half already, "gentleman collectors" have been advised of what species are potentially available for them to obtain through catalogues, more often than not published by purveyors of deadstock. This practice reached its pinnacle with the luxurious and exceptionally expensive books published since 1999 by Taita Publishers in the Czech Republic. The Taita books clearly serve both as appetisers for the wealthy beetle collector and as modern shopping catalogues, brilliantly designed and illustrated, representing the gamut of what an armchair collector would like to obtain for his collection in order for it to become "complete". For the Lucanidae (stag beetles) of Africa, Taita published in 2004 a truly magnificent book (Bartolozzi & Werner 2004), wherein the 16 species and non-nominotypical subspecies of the genus Colophon known at the time were "advertised" with large and magnificent photographs.
Evidence for trade in Colophon species
This genus is popular in trade and there is demand from international markets for the collection of rare and endemic Colophon species as indicated by media news reports and several online marketplace, e-commerce, and auction sites. In 2004, arrests were made for the poaching and possession of endangered Colophon species, a genus known to be valuable to international collectors (Planet Ark, 2004; Pretoria News, 2004; Sunday Times, 2004). The above assessments suggests that the genus is being targeted and that this species is at risk. See attached files for further trade evidence.
Barnard KH (1932) The rediscovery of Colophon thunbergi Westw. with description of further new species of the genus. Stylops 1(8): 169–174. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3113.1932.tb01377.x.
Bellamy CL, Endrödy-Younga S (1996e) Colophon eastmani. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: e.T5160A11118697. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.1996.RLTS.T5160A11118697.en. Downloaded on 23 February 2018.
Bartolozzi L, Werner K (2004) Illustrated Catalogue of the Lucanidae from Africa and Madagascar. Taita Publishers, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. 191 pp. Book homepage at publisher.
Endrödy-Younga S (1988) Evidence for the low-altitude origin of the Cape Mountain Biome derived from the systematic revision of the genus Colophon Gray (Coleoptera, Lucanidae). Annals of the South African Museum 96(9): 359–424. https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/part/74576.
Jacobs CT, Scholtz CH, Strümpher WP (2015) Taxonomy of Colophon Gray (Coleoptera: Lucanidae): new species and a status change. Zootaxa 4057(1): 135–142. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4057.1.9.
Mizukami T (1996) A new species and a new subspecies of the genus Colophon from Republic of South Africa (Coleoptera, Lucanidae). Gekkan-Mushi 304: 22–25. (In Japanese).
Mizukami T, Kawai S (1997) Nature of South Africa and ecological notes on the genus Colophon Gray. Gekkan-Mushi Supplement 2: 1–80. (In Japanese with English summaries).
Planet Ark. 2004. 5 February 2004. Rare beetles land Germans in hot water. Available at: www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/23713/newsDate/5Feb2004/story.htm
Switala AK, Stals R, Raimondo D (2011e) Colophon eastmani. IUCN Red List Assessment. Submitted to IUCN, but unpublished. On file with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).
No information exists about the regeneration potential of this species. However, as the genus is known to be targeted and other species are threatened with over-collection, this species may be susceptible to decline through collection whereby recovery may be poor.