There are about 36 species of Christmas Beetles (family Scarabaeidae) with all but one unique (endemic) to Australia and 21 species found in New South Wales. At least 10 species occur in the Sydney region – more if the Blue Mountains are included. Anoplognathus viriditarsus is the largest of the Sydney Christmas beetles.
Christmas Beetles have vibrant colours and the adults emerge close to the Christmas period. The larvae are white and C-shaped, similar to those of flower chafers and stag beetles. Discover more in our Christmas Beetle 'how to identify' information page.
Christmas Beetles are found in forests and woodlands.
Christmas Beetles are found in southern and eastern Australia.
Feeding and diet
Christmas Beetles come into Sydney from surrounding woodland where the adults feed on eucalyptus leaves and the larvae feed on grass roots. Adults can occur in large numbers, sometimes completely defoliating trees.
The total number of Christmas Beetles reported in the Sydney area has declined over the last 30 years as the grassy woodland areas get used up for housing.
Download the Christmas Beetle ID app
Discover the wonderful diversity of Australia's most famous beetles with our identification guide. Browse the comprehensive catalogue of Christmas beetles, and learn more about beetle anatomy and taxonomy with our illustrated glossaries.Download now
Download the free Xmas Beetle Guide mobile app
Discover the wonderful diversity of Australia's most famous beetles with our identification guide. Browse the comprehensive catalogue of Christmas Beetles, including photos, maps and more!
Collect the beetles you find and identify by adding them to digital collection, and learn more about beetle anatomy and taxonomy with our illustrated glossaries.