Balsam Beast Click to enlarge image
Anthophiloptera dryas a long antennae creepy crawly These images where created for the team in search and discover to used as ID labels and for AM web fact sheets Live specimen Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    dryas
    Genus
    Anthophiloptera
    Subfamily
    Zaprochilinae
    Family
    Tettagonidae
    Super Family
    Tettagonioidea
    Suborder
    Ensifera
    Order
    Orthoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    6 cm - 7.5 cm

Introduction

This large species is known as the Balsam Beast because it was first discovered on balsam flowers.

Habitat

The Balsam Beast lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands and heath. It lives in Angophora trees and is most common in Sydney in late winter or spring.

Distribution

The Balsam Beast is found in coastal eastern Australia from Cape York, Queensland to Batemans Bay, New South Wales.

Feeding and diet

The Balsam Beast feeds at night and, when Angophora flowers become scarce, it moves to garden plants and fruits, including kiwi fruit.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Balsam Beast plays an important role in pollinating the plants it feeds on. As it feeds, pollen attaches to the small hairs covering their bodies and is transported from flower to flower.