Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Christmas beetles though. They're a familiar sight, attracted by the lights on the verandahs of our nation. There's lots around this year. Although it seems that they may be on the decline. That would be very sad.
In a wonderful moment of serendipity Peter Goldsworthy talked of Christmas Beetles in his memoir His Stupid Boyhood (review to come tomorrow) that I read recently. And naturally he writes about them more beautifully than I ever could.
Luckily, Christmas came early in the Year of the Beetle, bringing swarms of green and gold iridescent scarabs that crowded the windows and streetlights after the first summer thunderstorms. Dozens went into the oubliette of my killing jar, whence they were taken to be pinned out on plywood mounting boards, each in the gilt sarcophagus of itself.
Everything is more cool if you google it. Even Christmas Beetles. There are 36 species of Christmas Beetles! And I thought there was only one. Now I have no idea which species we have here. Maybe Anoplognathus pallidicollis?
|Real Aussies are never afraid to pick up stuff like beetles|
|They're beautiful when you look at them up close|
Over the last few years I've been noticing where they really come from. And what they really do.
Take a walk in pretty much any park.
|Watch out for crunchy dirt on the path|
I suspect it's beetle poo, but don't know
|And look up|
You'll see them flying about
|And then notice them in the tree|
|They literally shred the leaves, especially the newer growth|
But be sure to keep an eye out for some other native friends at the same time. Birds are still more exciting than beetles, despite my deep and abiding passion for Christmas Beetles.
|Blue faced honeyeater|