Are there Christmas beetles decorating your tree?
As we get excited about the festive season each year, the Christmas beetle is also getting into the swing of celebrating. It might seem that their big parties in our treetops are just getting the season started, but it’s actually more of a farewell party marking the end of their short lives.
These beautiful, sparkling beetles emerge each summer in Australia after waiting underground all year for their time to shine. They are easy to spot; their shimmering metallic bodies set them apart from a lot of the insect world.
Spotting the Lucky Ladybird
Ladybirds are great to have as buddies in your backyard. In many cultures they are considered so lucky that killing one will bring sadness and misfortune.
There are about 6000 species of ladybird in the world, with around 500 species in Australia. You might know ladybirds as ladybugs or ladybeetles, but whatever name you use they are the fantastic at keeping your garden healthy.
All harmless hiss and horn: it’s the Rhinoceros Beetle
At first glance Rhinoceros or Rhino Beetles might seem a little antisocial, but for humans the up-sized backyard buddies are not only harmless but truly fascinating. These quirky shiny-black beetles grow to be around 6 or 7 cm in length so you will definitely see them when they fly about. In fact, they are Australia’s largest beetle.
Rhino Beetles only live in warm coastal tropical or subtropical climates, so in Australia they are mostly found Queensland, the Northern Territory and northern New South Wales. If you go for a walk on a warm night in the tropics, you may even hear a Rhino Beetle’s distinctive hissing sound. Don’t be put off though, they are all bluff when it comes to people.