Animal Species:Christmas Beetle

There are about 35 species of Christmas beetles (family Scarabaeidae), eight of which occur in Sydney. Anoplognathus viriditarsus is the largest of the Sydney Christmas beetles.

Christmas Beetle Anoplognathus montanus

CSIRO © CSIRO

Standard Common Name

Christmas Beetle

Number of species

35

Identification

Christmas beetles have vibrant colours and the adults emerge close to the Christmas period. The larvae are white and C-shaped, similar to those of flower chafers and stag beetles.

Size range

2 cm - 3 cm

Distribution

Christmas beetles are found in southern and eastern Australia.

Habitat

Christmas beetles are found in forests and woodlands.

Feeding and Diet

Christmas beetles come into Sydney from surrounding woodland where the adults feed on eucalypt leaves and the larvae feed on grass roots. Adults can occur in large numbers, sometimes completely defoliating trees.

Conservation Status

The total number of Christmas beetles reported in the Sydney area has declined over the last 30 years as the grassy woodland areas get used up for housing.

Classification

Genus:
Anoplognathus
Subfamily:
Rutelinae
Family:
Scarabaeidae
Superfamily:
Scarabaeoidea
Order:
Coleoptera
Class:
Insecta
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

Further Reading

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Tags beetles, insects, arthropods, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,