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Busy beetles

November 28, 2011

You may have noticed swarms of beetles flying around and aggregating on plants recently. These are the Plague Soldier Beetles (Chauliognathus lugubris). They can be found in forests, heaths and woodlands as well as gardens.

According to the Australian Museum: “The Plague Soldier Beetle infests blossoms of native trees, fruit trees, vegetable plants and other garden plants in such numbers that they can actually weigh down weaker plants. While this may be distressing to gardeners, the plants do not suffer much. This may be because the beetles are too interested in mating to bother eating the plants. Scientists found that in one such infestation 92% of the animals were copulating.”

The larvae live in the soil and feed on soft-bodied invertebrates.

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