Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (6): 22541.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022541

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Vigilance towards species endangerment and biological invasion risks: Investigating beetle trade on Chinese e-commerce platforms

Chen Wei1, Yijie Tong2,4, Yan Zeng3,4, Ming Bai2,3,4, Xia Wan1,*()   

  1. 1. Department of Ecology, School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei 230601
    2. Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    3. Endangered Species Scientific Commission, People’s Republic of China, Beijing 100101
    4. Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
  • Received:2022-09-20 Accepted:2022-11-14 Online:2023-06-20 Published:2023-03-22
  • Contact: * E-mail:


Aims: Beetles are one of the most diverse and species-rich groups of animals. Many of them have commercial values as collections or pets except for their important roles in scientific research. There is, however, little knowledge about the beetles’ trade in popular Chinese via the popular e-commerce platforms.

Methods: We investigated the trade form and quantity of beetle deals through the platforms in two years (October 2018-October 2020) in this study.

Results: The results showed that the dominant forms for beetle trades were specimens and living bodies dealing. There were 486 species belonging to 234 genera in 24 families on the online categories, with a total transaction amount of about 189,407,277 RMB. Among of them, 13 families and 175 genera, including 355 species were involved in the specimen deal. Living beetle transactions covered 157 species belonging to 98 genera within 21 families, in which included 6 invasive species in 6 genera of 4 families and 15 agricultural and forestry pests in 15 genera of 11 families. Besides, 7 species belonging to 5 genera, 4 families were on the “The list of National Key Protected Wild Animals in China”; one species was on the “List of CITES Appendix II”; 15 species within 10 genera, 5 families were included in the “The List of National Protected Terrestrial Wild Animals with Benefits or Important Economic and Scientific Values in China”.

Conclusion: The trade of living beetles, especially from overseas, could bring out the biological invasion, pest damage and pathogen transmission, or highly increase the risk of losing genetic diversity for endemic species, even cause the local species extinction. As a summary, our suggestions are presented on supervising the beetle trade through the e-commerce platforms.

Key words: beetle trade, e-commerce platforms, species protection, management measures