Despite the increasing rate of systematic research on scarabaeine dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae), their fossil record has remained largely unrevised. In this paper, we review all 33 named scarabaeine fossils and describe two new species from Dominican amber ( Canthochilum alleni sp.n., Canthochilum philipsivieorum sp.n.). We provide a catalogue of all fossil Scarabaeinae and evaluate their assignment to this subfamily, based primarily on the original descriptions but also, where possible, by examining the type specimens. We suggest that only 21 fossil taxa can be reliably assigned to the Scarabaeinae, while the remaining 14 should be treated as doubtful Scarabaeinae. The doubtful scarabaeines include the two oldest dung beetle fossils known from the Cretaceous and we suggest excluding them from any assessments of the minimum age of scarabaeine dung beetles. The earliest reliably described scarabaeine fossil appears to be Lobateuchus parisii, known from Oise amber (France), which shifts the minimum age of the Scarabaeinae to the Eocene (53 Ma). We scored the best-preserved fossils, namely Lobateuchus and the two Canthochilum species described herein, into the character matrix used in a recent morphology-based study of dung beetles, and then inferred their phylogenetic relationships with Bayesian and parsimony methods. All analyses yielded consistent phylogenies where the two fossil Canthochilum are placed in a clade with the extant species of Canthochilum, and Lobateuchus is recovered in a clade with the extant genera Ateuchus and Aphengium. Additionally, we evaluated the distribution of dung beetle fossils in the light of current global dung beetle phylogenetic hypotheses, geological time and biogeography. The presence of only extant genera in the late Oligocene and all later records suggests that the main present-day dung beetle lineages had already been established by the late Oligocene–mid Miocene.