Jonas Eberle

Jonas Eberle


Affiliations: Evolutionary Zoology, Population Genomics

Hellbrunnerstraße 34, 5020 Salzburg

Tel.: +43(0)662 8044 5638


Room: D-2.003

Research interest
My research mainly focuses on molecular phylogenetics, phylogeography, diversification, and taxonomy of beetles. Current projects investigate the biodiversity of scarabs in Sri Lanka in the light of their evolutionary dynamics and species turnover in different habitats and connectivity of chafer populations that live in forest remnants in South Africa. Since species are the fundamental units of life, I am also significantly concerned with integrative species demarcation. In particular, I combine molecular with morphological data, such as those obtained with geometric morphometrics.  

Curriculum vitae:
Employment history

  • since 10/2019: Postdoc, University of Salzburg, Evolutionary Zoology
  • 02/2018- 09/2019: Postdoc, Zoological Research Museum A. Koenig, Bonn, Section Coleoptera. DFG Priority Program “TaxonOmics”; development of universal nuclear markers for integrative species delimitation (Target Enrichment, Next Generation Sequencing); four weeks field work in Sri Lanka.  
  • 03/2016- 11/2017: Scientific Employee / Postdoc, Zoological Research Museum A.Koenig, Bonn, Section Arachnida (DFG Project). Phylogenetic and diversification studies on pholcid spiders.  
  • 04/2017: Scientific Employee, German Barcode of Life (GBOL) Project. Correcting & harmonizing the GBOL taxon names database with the red list Germany (Dytiscidae & Carabidae).  
  • 02/2012- 12/2015: Scientific Employee, Zoological Research Museum A. Koenig, Bonn, Section Coleoptera (DFG Project). Molecular and morphological studies on the evolution of scarabs; including a four weeks field trip to South Africa.  
  • 04/2010- 02/2012: Scientific Volunteer, State Museum of Natural History, Karlsruhe, Section Entomology. Collection management, collection-based research, exhibition planning, public relations; three weeks field work in Greece.  
  • 01- 03/2010: Volunteer, Zoological State Collections, Munich. Diverse activities in the Coleoptera collection. 


  • 02/2012- 09/2017: Doctorate, Rhenish Fiedrich—Wilhelms-University, Bonn. Title: “Reconciling molecular with biological and morphological data towards an integrative analysis of the evolutionary biology of chafers.” Degree 1.0 (magna cum laude).  
  • 2004- 2009: Diploma, Technical University, Munich. Major: Zoology Minors: Entomology & Limnology Diploma thesis: “Revision and Cladistic Analysis of the Indo—Australian Checkered Beetle Genus Xenorthrius Gorham, 1892 (Coleoptera: Cleridae: Clerinae).” Degree: 1.1.

 former projects



Habel JC, Teucher M, Eberle J, Rainer M, Schröcker M, Ulrich W (2024) Ecosystem functions in East African forest and agro-environments depend on site-specific microhabitat conditions. Biodiversity and Conservation.


Dietz L, Seidel M, Eberle J, Misof B, Pacheco TL, Podsiadlowski L, Ranasinghe S, Gunter NL, Niehuis O, Mayer C, Ahrens D (2023) A transcriptome-based phylogeny of Scarabaeoidea confirms the sister group relationship of dung beetles and phytophagous pleurostict scarabs (Coleoptera). Systematic Entomology 48(4): 672–686.

Habel JC, Eberle J, Charo J, Maghenda M, Schmitt T (2023) Population ecology and behaviour of two Afrotropical forest butterflies. Journal of Insect Conservation 7: 271–281.

Habel JC, Milidakis MA, Lindorfer S, Teucher M, Schmitt T, Eberle J (2023) Habitat specialisation and resource availability determine dispersal behaviour in four afro-tropical butterflies. Ecological Entomology: 1–13.

Ranasinghe UGSL, Thormann J, Benjamin SP, Bezděk A, Eberle J, Ahrens D (2023) Contrasting results of multiple species delimitation approaches cause uncertainty in synecological studies: A case study on Sri Lankan chafers. Insect Conservation and Diversity: 1–16.


Bopearachchi DP, Eberle J, Benjamin SP (2022) Molecular and morphological species delimitation suggest a single species of the beetle-spider genus Ballus in Sri Lanka (Araneae: Salticidae). The Journal of Arachnology 50: 314-322.

Dietz L, Eberle J, Mayer C, Kukowka S, Bohacz C, Baur H, Espeland M, Huber BA, Hutter C, Mengual X, Peters RS, Vences M, Wesener T, Willmott K, Misof B, Niehuis O, Ahrens D (2022) Standardized nuclear markers improve and homogenize species delimitation in Metazoa. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 00: 1-13.

Habel JC, Angerer V, Gros P, Teucher M, Eberle J (2022) The relevance of transition habitats for butterfly conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 31:1577–1590.

Habel JC, Teucher M, Gros P, Gfrerer V, Eberle J (2022) The importance of dynamic open-canopy woodlands for the conservation of a specialist butterfly species. Landscape Ecology 37: 2121–2129.

Habel JC, Ulrich W, Eberle J, Schmitt T (2022) Species community structures of Afrotropical butterflies differ depending on the monitoring method. Biodiversity and Conservation 31: 245-259. doi:  10.1007/s10531-021-02332-2

Huber BA & Eberle J (2022) Mining a photo library: Eggs and egg sacs in a major spider family. Invertebrate Biology 140: e12349.

Köhler J, Rulik B, Eberle J, Thormann J, Köhler F, Ahrens D (2022) Does monitoring of saproxylic beetles benefit from inclusion of larvae? Insect Conservation and Diversity 15: 555– 571.

Mutoro NM, Chira R, Gichuki N, Kariuki E, Eberle J, Habel JC, Wykstra M (2022) Dietary preference of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in south-eastern Kenya. Ecology and Evolution 12: e8556.

Ottati S, Eberle J, Rulik B, Köhler F,  Ahrens D (2022). From DNA barcodes to ecology: Meta-analysis of central European beetles reveal link with species ecology but also to data pattern and gaps. Ecology and Evolution12: e9650.

Ranasinghe UGSL, Eberle J, Thormann J, Bohacz C, Benjamin SP, Ahrens D. (2022) Multiple species delimitation approaches with COI barcodes poorly fit each other and morphospecies – An integrative taxonomy case of Sri Lankan Sericini chafers (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Ecology and Evolution 12: e8942.


Ahrens D, Ahyong ST, Ballerio A, Barclay MVL, Eberle J, Espeland M, Huber BA, Mengual X, Pacheco TL, Peters RS, Rulik B, Vaz-De-Mello F, Wesener T & Krell F-T (2021) Is it time to describe new species without diagnoses?—A comment on Sharkey et al. (2021). Zootaxa 5027: 151–159.

Eberle J, Husemann M, Doerfler I, Ulrich W, Müller J, Bouget C, Brin A, Gossner MM, Heilmann-Clausen J, Isacsson G, Krištín A, Lachat T, Larrieu L, Rigling A, Schmidl J, Seibold S, Vandekerkhove K, Habel JC (2021) Molecular biogeography of the fungus-dwelling saproxylic beetle Bolitophagus reticulatus indicates rapid expansion from glacial refugia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 133: 766-778.

Mutoro N, Eberle J, Petermann J, Schaab G, Wykstra M, Habel JC (2021) Impact of weather conditions on cheetah monitoring with scat detection dogs. Journal of Tropical Ecology 37(5): 222-227.  doi:10.1017/S0266467421000316

Štefánik M, Habel JC, Schmitt T, Eberle J (2021) Geographic disjunction and environmental conditions drive intraspecific differentiations in the chalk-hill blue butterfly. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society  133: 202–215.


Eberle J, Ahrens D, Mayer C, Niehuis O, Misof B (2020) A Plea for Standardized Nuclear Markers in Metazoan DNA Taxonomy. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 35: 336-345.

Li W, Łączyński P, Escalona HE, Eberle J, Hu, L, Chen X, Huang W, Chen B, Ahrens D, Ślipiński A, Tomaszewska W, Wang X (2020) Combined molecular and morphological data provide insights into the evolution and classification of Chilocorini ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Systematic Entomology 45: 447–463.

Ranasinghe S, Eberle J, Benjamin SR, Ahrens D (2020) New Species of Sericini from Sri Lanka (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae. European Journal of Taxonomy 621.

Sabatinelli G, Eberle J, Fabrizi S, Ahrens D (2020) A molecular phylogeny of Glaphyridae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea): evolution of pollination and association with ‘Poppy guild’ flowers. Systematic Entomology 45: 838-848.  doi:10.1111/syen.12429


Ahrens D, Fabrizi S, Nikolaev K, Knechtges L, Eberle J (2019) On the identity of some taxa of Sericinae described by C. P. Thunberg and L. Gyllenhal (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae). Bonn Zoological Bulletin 68(1): 21-29.

Dalstein V, Eberle J, Fabrizi S, Etzbauer C, Ahrens D (2019) COI-based species delimitation in Indochinese Tetraserica chafers reveal hybridisation despite strong divergence in male copulation organs. Organisms Diversity & Evolution 19: 277-286.

Eberle J, Bazzato E, Fabrizi S, Rossini M, Colomba M, Cillo D, Uliana M, Sparacio I, Sabatinelli G, Warnock RCM, Carpaneto G, Ahrens D (2019) Sex-Biased Dispersal Obscures Species Boundaries in Integrative Species Delimitation Approaches. Systematic Biology 68: 441‐459.  doi:10.1093/sysbio/syy072

Eberle J, Sabatinelli G, Cillo D, Bazzato E, Šípek P, Sehnal R, Bezděk A, Král D, Ahrens D (2019) A molecular phylogeny of Melolonthinae chafer beetles revisits the polyphyly of Tanyproctini (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae). Zoologica Scripta 48: 349-358.

Fabrizi S, Eberle J, Ahrens D (2019) Unexpected diversity of Hyboserica chafers in South African forest remains: phylogenetic analysis, a new genus and 32 new species (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 186: 950–982.

Huber BA, Caspar K, Eberle J (2019) New species reveal unexpected interspecific microhabitat diversity in the genus Uthina Simon, 1893 (Araneae: Pholcidae). Invertebrate Systematics 33: 181-207. 

Neita Moreno JC, Agrain FA, Eberle J, Ahrens D, Pereyra V (2019) On the phylogenetic position and systematics of extant and fossil Aclopinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Systematic Entomology 44 :709-727.


Eberle J, Bazzato E, Fabrizi S, Rossini M, Colomba M, Cillo D, Uliana M, Sparacio I, Sabatinelli G, Warnock RCM, Carpaneto G, Ahrens D (2018) Sex-Biased dispersal obscures species boundaries in integrative species delimitation approaches. Systematic Biology 68: 321–353.

Eberle J, Dimitrov D, Valdez-Mondragón A, Huber BA (2018) Microhabitat change drives diversification in pholcid spiders. BMC Evolutionary Biology 18:141.

Huber BA, Eberle J, Dimitrov D (2018) The phylogeny of pholcid spiders: a critical evaluation of relationships suggested by molecular data (Araneae, Pholcidae). ZooKeys 789: 51-101.


Eberle J, Beckett M, Özgül-Siemund A, Frings J, Fabrizi S, Ahrens D (2017) Afromontane forests hide 19 new species of ancient Pleophylla chafers (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): phylogeny and taxonomic revision. Zoological Journal of Linnean Society 180: 321-353.

Eberle J, Rödder D, Beckett M, Ahrens D (2017) Landscape genetics indicate recently increased habitat fragmentation in African forest-associated chafers. Global Change Biology 23: 1988–2004.

Rulik B, Eberle J, Geiger MF, Ahrens D (2017) Using taxonomic consistency for producing high quality barcodes. Barcode Bulletin 8: 1878-1887.

Rulik B, Eberle J, von der Mark L, Thormann J, Jung M, Köhler F, Apfel W, Weigel A, Kopetz A, Köhler J, Fritzlar F, Hartmann M, Hadulla K, Schmidt J, Hörren T, Krebs D, Theves F, Eulitz U, Skale A, Rohwedder D, Kleeberg A, Astrin JJ, Geiger MF, Wägele WJ, Grobe P, Ahrens D (2017) Using taxonomic consistency with semi-automated data pre-processing for high quality DNA barcodes. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8: 1878-1887., German Barcode of Life


Ahrens D, Fujisawa T, Krammer HJ, Eberle J, Fabrizi S, Vogler AP (2016) Rarity and incomplete sampling in DNA-based species delimitation. Systematic Biology 65: 478-494.

Eberle J, Fabrizi S, Lago P, Ahrens D (2016) A historical biogeography of megadiverse Sericini – another story “out of Africa”? Cladistics 33: 183-197.

Eberle J, Warnock RCM, Ahrens D (2016) Bayesian species delimitation in Pleophylla chafers (Coleoptera) – the importance of prior choice and morphology. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16: 94.

Šípek P, Fabrizi S, Eberle J, Ahrens D (2016) A molecular phylogeny of rose chafers (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) reveals a complex and concerted morphological evolution related to their flight mode. Molecular Phylogenentics and Evolution 101: 163–175.


Eberle J, Walbaum W, Fabrizi S, Ahrens D (2015): Asymmetry in genitalia does not increase the rate of their evolution. Molecular Phylogenentics and Evolution 93: 180–187.

Liu WG, Bai M, Eberle J, Yang XK, Ahrens D (2015) A phylogeny of Chinese Sericini using mitochondrial and ribosomal RNA genes (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Organisms, Diversity and Evolution 15: 343–350.


Eberle J, Myburgh R, Ahrens D (2014) The evolution of morphospace in phytophagous scarab chafers: no competition – no divergence?. Plos One 9:e98536.


Eberle J, Myburgh R, Ahrens D (2013) The evolution of morphospace in herbivorous scarab chafers: no competition – no divergence?. Talk Abstract, DGAAE Tagung Goettingen.

Oezgul-Siemund A, Eberle J, Ahrens D (2013) Morphometric analysis of female genitalia of Pleophylla beetles.


Eberle J, Tänzler R, Riedel A (2012) Revision and phylogenetic analysis of the Papuan weevil genus Thyestetha Pascoe (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Cryptorhynchinae). Zootaxa 3355: 1–28.

Shrestha J, Eberle J, Ahrens D (2012) Further data on the distribution of Himalayan Sericini from the collection of Naturel History Museum Erfurt (Insecta: Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) with description of a new Xenoserica from West-Nepal. Vernate 31: 379-386.


Gerstmeier R, Eberle J (2011) Definition and revision of the Orthrius-group of genera (Coleoptera, Cleridae, Clerinae). Zookeys 92: 35–60.


Gerstmeier R, and Eberle J (2010) Revision of the Indo-Australian checkered beetle genus Xenorthrius Gorham, 1892 (Coleoptera: Cleridae, Clerinae). Zootaxa 2584: 1–121.


Eberle J (2009) Revision and cladistic analysis of the Indo-Australian checkered beetle genus Xenorthrius Gorham, 1892 (Coleoptera:Cleridae:Clerinae). Diploma Thesis, Technische Universität München.

German essays and book chapters:

Angerer V, Katzenmayer D, Hölzl S, Eberle, Habel JC (2023) Vornutzung zur Förderung von artenreichem Grünland. ANLiegen NATUR 45(1).  Anliegen Natur – Aktuelle Meldungen der Zeitschrift für angewandten Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege in Bayern