Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas is not far away

One of my childhood indicators that said Christmas was just around the corner was the appearance of Christmas Beetles.
There are 34 species of Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus species)  members of the family Scarabaeidae and they are distributed throughout Australia, although most species occur in the higher rainfall areas of the southern and eastern states. Their colouring ranges through shades of brown, green, iridescent green and brown with green iridescence as in the one I photographed. It is the usual one found in our are and is the most common Anoplognathus porosus and the main one of my childhood memories.

The larvae are large whitish grubs with a distinctive C shape hence the name "curl grubs" and are found in the soil of grassland, woodland and suburban gardens. At times their emergence as beetles can be in such large numbers that they can defoliate eucalyptus trees, that are their food source.

In the bright sun I found it difficult to show the iridescent green, so my shadow provided the shade to highlight the colours.



  1. What a superb beetle - love the iridescence (beautiful) .

  2. They are very attractive and I hope that we get a few of the less common ones visiting.
    I noted that there are a some Scarabs in England including one very bright iridescent green one but I don't know how common they are and I assume they would be summer visitors, so definitely not known Christmas Beetles.