Animal Species:Fiddler Beetle

Fiddler Beetles are common around Sydney and are named for the fiddle (violin) shaped patterns on their backs.

Standard Common Name

Fiddler Beetle


Fiddler Beetles are common in heath and woodlands in south-eastern Australia.

Feeding and Diet

Adult beetles emerge from soil in early summer and feed on the nectar of flowers.

Life cycle

Female Fiddler Beetles lay their eggs in rotting logs or in the damp soil under logs. The grubs feed on rotting timber and build cocoons of soil and debris in which they pupate.

Danger to humans and first aid

These attractive beetles are harmless to humans.



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Tags fiddler beetles, Coleoptera, insects, invertebrates, identification,


garleeb - 12.12 PM, 23 December 2011
Now I know what this magnificent beetle is called- that my husband found in the carport yesterday! [We live in Hervey Bay, SE QLD].

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David Britton - 4.01 PM, 13 January 2011

Dear Niall, I am not aware of any detailed published life-history for the fiddler beetle. The Wikipedia entry on Eupoecila australasiae has a few additional bits of information My personal experience of this species is that it takes about a year for complete development, and that the pupae can sometimes sit in the rotting log or other substrate for up to two to four months or so. They will survive quite well in wood chip mulch where the wood has started to rot down and there is plenty of fungal activity, so they are really quite easy to rear. The few times I have reared them out have been from larvae which are already quite large, so good luck with rearing them from eggs!

NiallFinn - 7.01 PM, 10 January 2011
Is it possible to get more information about the life cycle of the fiddler beetle? as we found a beautiful specimen in the garden burrowing into a rotting pine log and we'd like to know when to expect the eggs to hatch and the young to pupate etc. and does the mother stay there or go off and do something else. I have attached a photo my wife took of it on its way into the log, which you can have if its useful, we didn't get the camera fast enough to photograph it in the open. regards Niall

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