Christmas Beetles are a type of scarab (a group that includes dung beetles and chafers). Compared to other scarabs, Christmas Beetles (genus Anoplognathus) are large and chunky, somewhat flattened in shape and with metallic brown, yellow or pink colours.
There are 36 species in the genus with all but one unique (endemic) to Australia, and 21 species found in New South Wales with at least 10 species ocuring in Sydney and the Blue Mountains region.
The adults generally feed on eucalypt leaves. They prefer open woodland to forest and thrive in pastures wherever trees have been left in place. In farmland they can form dense masses on the remaining eucalypt, chomping through leaves, sometimes killing their hosts.
In contrast to the adults, the larvae (grubs) feed on roots, usually of grasses. Some species are economically important pests of eucalypt plantations while others are implicated in dieback – the decline of mature trees in landscapes like those in NSW’s New England Tableland.
Discover the wonderful diversity of Australia's most famous beetles with our identification guide, or browse the comprehensive Christmas Beetles factsheets below including macro photos, and learn more about beetles with our anatomical and taxonomical glossary.
Christmas Beetle factsheets34 Fact Sheets in this section
Download the free Xmas Beetle Guide mobile app
Discover the wonderful diversity of Australia's most famous beetles with our mobile 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.