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Christmas Beetles (Anoplognathus)

The Christmas beetles are a genus of beetles belonging to the family of scarab beetles including 35 species. They are commonly seen during the Australian summer around the Christmas season, resulting in their name.

Christmas Beetle

List of Species Belonging to this Genus

  • Gold Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus aureus)
  • Golden Brown Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus chloropyrus)
  • Green Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus prasinus)
  • Washerwoman Beetle (Anoplognathus rugosus)
  • King Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus viridiaeneus)
  • Anoplognathus abnormis
  • Anoplognathus aeneus
  • Anoplognathus blackdownensis
  • Anoplognathus boisduvalii
  • Anoplognathus brevicollis
  • Anoplognathus brunnipennis
  • Anoplognathus concolor
  • Anoplognathus daemeli
  • Anoplognathus flindersensis
  • Anoplognathus hirsutus
  • Anoplognathus macalpinei
  • Anoplognathus macleayi
  • Anoplognathus montanus
  • Anoplognathus multiseriatus
  • Anoplognathus narmarus
  • Anoplognathus nebulosus
  • Anoplognathus olivieri
  • Anoplognathus pallidicollis
  • Anoplognathus parvulus
  • Anoplognathus pindarus
  • Anoplognathus porosus
  • Anoplognathus punctulatus
  • Anoplognathus rhinastus
  • Anoplognathus rothschildti
  • Anoplognathus rubiginosus
  • Anoplognathus smaragdinus
  • Anoplognathus suturalis
  • Anoplognathus velutinus
  • Anoplognathus viriditarsis
Pictures of Christmas Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 2-3 cm

Color: The elytra are light or dark brown or even green. A green-yellow iridescence is observed in certain beetles.

Other Characteristic Features: While flying, they generate a lot of noise. They are also erratic fliers, often colliding into objects when in flight.

Anoplognathus

Larva

They are pale cream, with a brown head. Like other beetle larvae, it is also ‘C’ shaped measuring around 2.5 cm. The beetle spends this stage deep underground.

Christmas Beetle Larvae

Pupa

After maturing, the larvae come closer to the soil’s surface to begin pupation.

Christmas Beetle Pupa

Egg

They are laid in soil or compost in the spring and early summer, with females laying 20-40 eggs at a time.

Quick Facts

Lifespan24 months
DistributionAustralia
HabitatWoodlands
PredatorsBirds of prey like currawongs, possums, and predatory wasps
Seasons activeSummer
Host PlantsEucalyptus
Diet of adultsLeaves of eucalyptus plants
Christmas Beetle Image

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

Both the larva and adults are responsible for dieback in eucalyptus plants, leading to the plants dying from the tip of the roots or leaves.

Christmas Beetle Picture

Did You Know

  • English zoologist William Elford Leach coined this genus of beetles.
  • Christmas beetles is broadly used to refer to other metallic beetles not of this genus. For instance, the beetles of the Lamprima genus indegenous to Australasia are also called by the same name.

Image Source: lh5.ggpht.com, i1.treknature.com, amazonaws.com, abc.net.au, entomologa.ru, candide.com, parody.fandom.com

The Christmas beetles are a genus of beetles belonging to the family of scarab beetles including 35 species. They are commonly seen during the Australian summer around the Christmas season, resulting in their name.

Christmas Beetle

List of Species Belonging to this Genus

  • Gold Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus aureus)
  • Golden Brown Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus chloropyrus)
  • Green Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus prasinus)
  • Washerwoman Beetle (Anoplognathus rugosus)
  • King Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus viridiaeneus)
  • Anoplognathus abnormis
  • Anoplognathus aeneus
  • Anoplognathus blackdownensis
  • Anoplognathus boisduvalii
  • Anoplognathus brevicollis
  • Anoplognathus brunnipennis
  • Anoplognathus concolor
  • Anoplognathus daemeli
  • Anoplognathus flindersensis
  • Anoplognathus hirsutus
  • Anoplognathus macalpinei
  • Anoplognathus macleayi
  • Anoplognathus montanus
  • Anoplognathus multiseriatus
  • Anoplognathus narmarus
  • Anoplognathus nebulosus
  • Anoplognathus olivieri
  • Anoplognathus pallidicollis
  • Anoplognathus parvulus
  • Anoplognathus pindarus
  • Anoplognathus porosus
  • Anoplognathus punctulatus
  • Anoplognathus rhinastus
  • Anoplognathus rothschildti
  • Anoplognathus rubiginosus
  • Anoplognathus smaragdinus
  • Anoplognathus suturalis
  • Anoplognathus velutinus
  • Anoplognathus viriditarsis
Pictures of Christmas Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 2-3 cm

Color: The elytra are light or dark brown or even green. A green-yellow iridescence is observed in certain beetles.

Other Characteristic Features: While flying, they generate a lot of noise. They are also erratic fliers, often colliding into objects when in flight.

Anoplognathus

Larva

They are pale cream, with a brown head. Like other beetle larvae, it is also ‘C’ shaped measuring around 2.5 cm. The beetle spends this stage deep underground.

Christmas Beetle Larvae

Pupa

After maturing, the larvae come closer to the soil’s surface to begin pupation.

Christmas Beetle Pupa

Egg

They are laid in soil or compost in the spring and early summer, with females laying 20-40 eggs at a time.

Quick Facts

Lifespan24 months
DistributionAustralia
HabitatWoodlands
PredatorsBirds of prey like currawongs, possums, and predatory wasps
Seasons activeSummer
Host PlantsEucalyptus
Diet of adultsLeaves of eucalyptus plants
Christmas Beetle Image

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

Both the larva and adults are responsible for dieback in eucalyptus plants, leading to the plants dying from the tip of the roots or leaves.

Christmas Beetle Picture

Did You Know

  • English zoologist William Elford Leach coined this genus of beetles.
  • Christmas beetles is broadly used to refer to other metallic beetles not of this genus. For instance, the beetles of the Lamprima genus indegenous to Australasia are also called by the same name.

Image Source: lh5.ggpht.com, i1.treknature.com, amazonaws.com, abc.net.au, entomologa.ru, candide.com, parody.fandom.com

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