Backyard Buddies
Christmas Beetles

Photo: Melanie Cook

Christmas Beetles

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Christmas beetles emerge each summer around Christmastime after waiting underground all year. They are easy to spot; their shimmering metallic bodies set them apart from a lot of the insect world.

If you leave a light on during hot summer nights—especially in the east of Australia - you may find these nocturnal flying Christmas decorations in a bit of a frenzy in its glow.

Christmas beetle babies are c-shaped grubs that spend a whole year growing up in small chambers just underneath the surface of the soil. They eat plant roots and decaying organic matter, so keep your grass well nourished and mulch your garden regularly to provide plenty of baby Christmas beetle food.

Adult Christmas beetles love to eat the leaves right at the top of Eucalyptus trees. Preserving your local native eucalypts and planting a few in your garden provides a smorgasbord for the annual Christmas beetle gathering.

Enjoy their beautiful colours, but if they overstay their welcome, just turn off your outside lights or pull down the blinds and they'll know it's time to head home. Christmas beetles can take a hint.

Be a Backyard Buddy

The appearance of Christmas beetles is a reminder that the end of the year festive season is coming; they're also really beautiful and fascinating to watch.

A lot of Christmas beetles come in golden brown or green colours, but the further north you travel in Australia, the more amazing their colours can be. In northern Queensland, you can even find Christmas beetles that are violet or have colourings a bit like an opal.

Christmas beetles like:

But they don't like:

Be a Buddy to Christmas beetles

Try to:


Don't be surprised if Christmas beetles:

A few more Christmas beetle facts

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”’s all connected, your backyard to the big backyard and everything in between – we can all do our bit to help out nature.“

John - National Parks Volunteer, SA

Photo: OEH