Golden Stag Beetle

Black Bess Beetle
Brown Bess Beetle

Black Dung Beetle
Greed Dung Beetle
Punctated Dung Beetle 
Green Scarab Beetle
Brown Cockchafer
Yellow Cockchafer
Nectar Scarab Beetle 
Common Christmas Beetle
White Christmas Beetle
Golden Christmas Beetle
Green Christmas Beetle 
Black Nail Beetle
Small Brown Scarab
Small Black Scarab 
Rhinoceros Beetle
Cowboy Beetle
Red-brown Flower Beetle
Fiddle Beetle
Spotted Flower Chafer
Brown Flower Beetle
Mango Flower Beetle


Scarab Beetles - Family Scarabaeidae

This page contains information and pictures about Scarab Beetles in Family Scarabaeidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Christmas Beetles - picture taken on New Year Eve
The beetles in this family are usually medium to large size, occasionally with bright colour. They have distinctive lamellate antennae which opens like a small fan and they can close it together as a compact club. Beetles in other families may have the similar lamellate antenna but they cannot close it. Legs, especially the fore coaxes, are usually shaped good for digging. Adults beetles usually feed on leaves and flowers. Most of them  have functional wings and are active flyers. 
Their larvae are grub-liked, always live in concealed habitats, feeding on roots, dung or decaying plants materials. They are sluggish, cylindrical, c-shaped, with a well-developed head and legs. Since they live usually next to the food source and they seldom need to move.
We found many different species of Scarab Beetles, they are listed in subfamilies as follows;

Subfamily Scarabaeinae - Dunk Beetles
Beetles in this subfamily have the round stout body. Usually they are black, dark brown or dark green in colour. They do not have the triangle-shaped scutellum. They have very long hind legs. Their front legs are short but strong which are for digging in soil and dung. Adult Dung Beetle males and females usually look differently. Most males have the prominent horn while females luck such armatures. Larvae are hump-backed and most feed on marsupial dung. Some others feed on fungi or decaying plant materials.
Subfamily Melolonthinae - Chafers
Their life cycle is usually more than one year. Larvae are C-shaped and soil-dwelling, feed on roots and other organic matter. They pupate in cell deep in soil. When become adults, they stay remains in the cell, wait until rain softens the soil and come out. This makes the adults come out from soil in the same time, synchronizes as the mating flight. Most of them active at night but some feed during the day.  
Subfamily Rutelinae - Christmas Beetles
Adults feed and mate on tree during the day, lay eggs in soil or under fallen bark and logs. Their life cycle is usually more than one year. Larvae are C-shaped and soil-dwelling, feed on roots and other organic matter. They pupate in cell deep in soil. Some genus in this subfamily are known as Christmas Beetles, huge number appear during Christmas days in Australia. They hang on tree just  like the decorations on Christmas tree.
Subfamily Dynastinae - Black Scarab
Beetles in this subfamily are stout bodied, usually black or dark brown in colour. Males and females may look different in this subfamily. Males bear horns which are disproportionately large. Adults do not feed on leaves and are active at night. Larvae live in soil feed on roots or decaying plant matter or rotten logs.
Subfamily Cetoniinae - Flower Beetles
Beetles in this subfamily are some what flattened, some are metallic in colour. They active during the day, most are seen feeding on flowers. Adults' mouth-parts are modified for nectar feeding.  They are active flyer, can fly rapidly by spreading their wings without raising the elytra. Larvae live in soil and feed on rotten wood or decaying plant materials. 

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p 627.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p228.
3. Beetles of Australia - Trevor J Hawkeswood, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1987, p31.
4. SCARABAEIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2008.
5. A Guide to the Beetles of Australia - George Hangay and Paul Zborowski, CSIRO PUBLISHING April 2010, p86. 
6. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.

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Home ] Scarabaeinae ] Melolonthinae ] Rutelinae ] Dynastinae ] Cetoniinae ]


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Last updated: April 02, 2011.