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 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.
Christmas beetles are found in forests and woodlands.
Christmas beetles are found in southern and eastern Australia.
Feeding and diet
Christmas beetles come into Sydney from surrounding woodland where the adults feed on eucalyptus leaves and the larvae feed on grass roots. Adults can occur in large numbers, sometimes completely defoliating trees.
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.