I am discovering so much about Christmas this year from how many different names Santa is called, the tales of Trolls which come down from the mountains in Iceland, all the different recipes I am gleaning from far and wide..and I love it and this little Christmas Beetle…ooooh so cute!
FORGET FROSTED GRASS and snow-covered windowsills, in Australia it’s the Christmas beetle that heralds the start of the festive season. They are so pretty with their metallic coats
The metallic scarabs are synonymous with summer Down Under – or at least they used to be.
Research suggests that Australia’s endemic Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus) population is on the decline.
Entomologist Dr Chris Reid, from the Australian Museum, attributes the drop in sightings to drier than usual spring weather, especially along the coast of New South Wales.
Christmas beetles in the greater Sydney region have also been victims of urban sprawl, with species disappearing from the city’s west due to much of their natural habitat being used for development.
I know people have to live in houses but urban sprawl has a lot to answer for and more care and research should be undertaken before permission to develop has been given or provision should be made to keep wildlife disruption to a minimum…Most cannot readjust.
THE NATURAL habitat for Christmas beetles is woodland, where there are plenty of trees and rich soil. The larvae develop in the soil, and remain there as curl grubs, feeding on grass and plant roots, as well as the surface roots of eucalypts.
As fully grown adults, they mainly eat eucalyptus leaves but are known to consume the foliage of introduced species, such as the peppercorn tree.
The reason we only see these colourful insects during the festive season has nothing to do with Saint Nick aka Santa and there was you thinking it did…Ha Ha
BUT the end of spring and start of summer is when the larvae hatch out. The adults aren’t active during the winter months; they are larvae only during those months. When the adults are spotted during the Christmas month they’re at the stage of laying eggs.
This time of year is also mating season.
if you are lucky enough to see them during the day on young eucalypts… they’re usually in clusters trying to mate, with the males pushing each other off females.
They are very pretty though and Christmassy …Don’t you think?
If you missed the Icelandic Trolls then never fear the link is here tomorrow it will be Christmas recipes once again…I just thought I would mix it up a little and have a change…
The information about the Christmas Beetle came from Australia’s National Geographic Magazine.
Photos courtesy of Pixabay: