Our neighbour on the hill behind us brought down this strange coloured beetle that he’d found. He’s been here for 20 odd years and has never seen one this colour before.
If anyone knows what this beetle is let us know. We think it’s a Christmas Beetle (Scarabaeidae Rutelinae) but can’t find these colours anywhere in our fieldguides or on the net.
We have now found out the beetle is Dilocrosis balteata. We’re trying to get more info on it.
Jack Hasenpusch from the Australian Insect Farm has very kindly, sent us this:
“Your beetle is Dilocrosis balteata and belongs in the Family Cetoniidae – these are flower beetles and your beetle also likes to eat fruit. I collected some in my garden the other day. I breed them up and supply them to schools for children to rear and breed and learn about insects in the classroom.
D.balteata occurs in Papua New Guinea all the way down the coast to approx Paluma (near Townsville). They like to breed in humus usually in hollow trees .
They are quite common actually but rarely seen , you can find them on blossom of Euodia trees, Eucalypts, Syzigiums etc usually quite high up.
We are doing a revision of this Genus of beetles at the moment but it all takes time.
The Cetoniidae is a large family within Australia and there are some beautiful species you can see on blossom generally in Spring and Summer , some are plain black or brown and others are of the most fluorescent and metallic greens and reds you have ever seen.”
Jack has written, with co-author Paul D Brock, ”The Complete Field Guide to Stick And Leaf Insects Of Australia“. It’s available on the Australian Insect Farm website.
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