I have discovered so much about Christmas over the past few years from how many different names Santa is called, the tales of Trolls…The Yule Lads who come down from the mountains in Iceland, all the different recipes I am gleaning from far and wide… I love it and this little Christmas Beetle…ooooh so cute!
Some of you who have been a follower for a while may have seen these little fellows before…
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 the 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 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?
The information about the Christmas Beetle came from Australia’s National Geographic Magazine.
Christmas also sees the start of Christmas adverts and some of them I wait to see every year…This first one( I ) will be doting them about some posts quite randomly up until Christmas alongside some of my favourite Christmas Carols… I think this Disney Christmas Advert is very apt as there are many families around the world where there is a stepdad…and very good ones I will add who love the children as their own…Disney has made “The Stepdad” this year’s project and done it very well I think…
That’s all for today…See you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets…xx