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Pete Best – in our garden

March 3, 2018

Gardening is such a peaceful past-time. Sometimes the idyll is punctuated by the sighting of a snake or the unearthing of a Pobblebonk, or worse still, half a Pobblebonk, just to add that dash of excitement. My gardening experience was recently interrupted by an angry buzzing (click on the sound clip below. Ignore the cockatoos in the background).

Instantly a number of possibilities came to mind – none of them good. If the neighbours had been watching they would have seen me hurtle out of the garden and then from a safe vantage point survey the veggie plot for a considerable amount of time.

The result – nothing. The expected appearance of an angry something (bee?/wasp?/frog?/cicada?) failed to materialise and after a while the sound stopped only to kick off again as soon as gardening resumed. The culprit, a Rhinoceros Beetle (Dasygnathus trituberculatus), pictured below.

Rhinoceros beetles are Scarabs just like Christmas Beetles. They are active at night. The male beetle sports three horns, one on the ‘nose’ and two on the ‘forehead’. The former is used for digging in the soil and for fighting other males with during mating season. The larvae live in the soil and feed on plant roots.

I am not sure of the mechanism by which the sound was made. It was obvious on closer inspection that the abdomen was vibrating rapidly under the hard wing case. Maybe the sound was generated by friction or maybe by air. But the investigation went no further and it was released. Clearly a very annoyed beetle. Just like Pete Best (a bit of trivia for all you Beatles aficionados!)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    March 19, 2018 3:39 pm

    Have you met one from North QLD? they are huge!

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