What's Christmas Beetle?
Christmas in Australia evokes memories of long summer nights, complete with the buzzing of the vibrant Christmas beetle. The Royal Australian Mint is celebrating this unique Australian holiday herald with this gorgeous 2022 50-cent Colored Proof Sterling Silver coin. Most city-dwelling Australians feel Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without these iridescent beetles crashing into windows and piling up around streetlights at night.
A sweet Christmas beetle mandala printed in a shimmering ultra metallic print, framed in relief by a eucalyptus wreath adorned with beetles and native flowers. This stunning proof coin is housed in a special hanging decoration with the Mint's logo ribbon, ready for hanging display during the holiday season.
Photo from coinupdate.com/ and https://www.coinsaustralia.com.au/
Photo from coinupdate.com/ and https://www.coinsaustralia.com.au/
So you might be curious about what the Christmas bettles they are. Christmas beetles are 15-40mm long. There are more than 3,000 species in Australia. The vast majority of Christmas beetles are more active at night and can often be seen flying around lights. Most of them are golden in color, but some are green or black. The activity of adult Christmas beetles usually ends at the end of February. Before, they greedily stripped the trees, and may even cause the trees to become mutilated. Generally speaking, Christmas beetles living in northern Australia emerge earlier than their southern counterparts. Their larva looks like a crescent moon, with a reddish-brown head and three pairs of legs on the body. These larvae are usually buried under the soil layer of lawns or pastures, feed on plant roots, and after becoming adults, they dig holes and crawl out of the holes.
So Why Is Christmas Beetle Special?
Christmas is a traditional festival in the West, but Christmas in Australia coincides with midsummer. At this time, a group of cute little beetles is particularly active. They crawl on the leaves, just like the strange decorations of the Christmas tree. Therefore, they get a special Name - Christmas beetle. Christmas beetles used to be a symbol of Australian summer, and together with mangoes, cherries, barbecue, and annoying mosquitoes, they constitute the memories of Australian summer. Their vibrant colors make the Christmas scene more nostalgic. Most of these beetles are found in southern and eastern Australia because they experience summer during Christmas, which provides enough sun warm for these cute beetles.
Christmas beetles belong to Anoplognathus, a genus of more than 30 species, all found in beautiful Australia. They are about 20-30 mm in size and have yellow, green, or brown elytra. They can be seen everywhere in rural areas and towns in Australia. They are often attracted to houses by lights because they like to move around after sunset.
The favorite food of Christmas beetles is eucalyptus leaves. Especially around Christmas, a large number of Christmas beetles crawl out of the soil after emergence and gather on eucalyptus trees to feast on, so there is the term "Christmas tree decorations" simile. Christmas beetle females lay eggs underground in grasslands near eucalyptus trees. Larvae feed on grassroots, although their behavior is "bad", but their appearance is "superior".
Why Is Hard to Find Christmas Beetle In Australia Now?
Currently, climate change and loss of natural habitats are possible explanations for the decline in beetle populations,But more research is needed to be sure.
There are about 35 different species of Christmas beetles across Australia, most of which are found in the wet eastern or southern parts of the lake near the coast. About eight species of Christmas beetles have appeared near Sydney. Christmas beetles are generally considered to be responsible for the mass mortality of young tree saplings and are therefore considered pests. Insect experts, however, don't think the Christmas beetle should bear all the blame. Over the past 200 years, people's large-scale land reclamation and tree felling have greatly changed Australia's ecological environment, which eventually led to a sharp increase in the number of beetles at an abnormal rate.
These beetles were very common in the 1960s and 1970s. In the past, the beetle larvae lived in small patches of grassland, but now these grasslands are often vast. The eucalyptus forests that originally provided food for adult beetles have been greatly reduced since the arrival of European colonists, resulting in a surge in the number of beetles that inhabited eucalyptus trees, making relatively isolated forests more vulnerable. In fact, due to the fact that people living in the Sydney area have built a large number of houses in the woodland where the grass was originally flourishing in the past 30 years. The living environment of Christmas beetles has been destroyed, and the number of Christmas beetles has been continuously reduced.
How to help Christmas beetle in your Garden?
1. Plants some eucalyptus plants
Because Christmas beetles feed mainly on the leaves of eucalyptus plants. 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. If you don't have any eucalyptus plants in your garden, you can collect these Christmas beetles in the safety box and take them to the park.
2. Make some habitats
The method is also very simple. Start by filling in the habitat with discarded wood chips, twigs or large shells, incorporating branches, bark, lichen and moss, and other organic materials such as wool, rope, thread and sacks. Christmas Beetles like warm, dry cavities, 3 - 4 inches deep, filled with mulch, leaves, twigs, and sawdust, and then replenish as needed for production. I believe that many friends have the experience of building a bird's nest. The method is actually similar and very simple.
3. Prepare a Culture box
If you want to pet a Christmas beetle, please prepare a plastic insect terrarium, spread 3-5 cm of garden soil on the bottom of the box, set some small branches or wood blocks in the box for the beetles to climb on, and spread some dead leaves on the soil to make the environment look more natural . Putting the breeding box in a cool and ventilated place has already arranged a comfortable environment for the Christmas beetles, but remember not to place the breeding box in a place where it can be exposed to the sun, because the heat dissipation system of the insect is not good, and it is easy to die due to high temperature.
4.Cover water butts
The Christmas beetle can't swim, but there will be buoyancy between the wings and a water film so that the insect can float on the water and can float to the shore. If the whole body is soaked or the detergent destroys the water film, it will sink. Christmas beetles are terrestrial insects with breathing holes in their stomachs. If their stomachs are placed in water, they will drown in a short time.
5. Don’t use chemicals
There are many types of beetles, and not all are venomous. If you spray to kill beetles, there will be fewer and fewer beetles in nature.
6.Join Christmas Beetle Count Project
Professor Tanya Latty, an entomologist in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, said: "If we are to identify which species may be at risk, and where there are still large populations, then we need the help of the public to track Christmas beetle populations." But Currently, "we don't have enough information, and they're geographically spread out, so the data are sporadic." So, "we need to collect data on Christmas beetle populations to understand where they are and how much they are." "Only with large-scale basic data from thousands of Australians will we be able to figure out whether beetle populations are actually declining, and ultimately why," Latty said.
the University of Sydney has developed a new app, naturalist, which allows users to instantly record the photos and locations of every Christmas beetle they see. If you are interested in christmas-beetle-count Project, you can can download the app or visit https://www.naturalist.org/ to help scientists keep up to date with these creatures. If you’d like to try and identify your beetle, the Australian Museum’s ‘Xmas Beetle ID Guide’ App is the best most accessible resource, and it’s free.
There is no doubt that beetles are nature's most beautiful decorations. However, the most beautiful decoration should not be in our hands, but in nature. In Moyustore, you can find some 3d metal beetle model kits to build, so that you can not only feel the beauty of beetles, but you can also relax yourself during the building process.