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One week early

September 8, 2022

The first warm day heading into Spring last weekend saw a flurry of activity in the tops of the young eucalypts I have growing on the property. The insects looked like flies but on closer examination they turned out to be tiny beetles – Swarming Scarabs.

Swarming Scarabs is the common name given to small beetles from the genera – Automolus sp. (active during daylight hours) and Lipartrus sp. (mostly active at night). They are about 4 – 5mm long and are generally brown in colour and when the time is right they turn up in large numbers to feed. What they feed on is the leaves of eucalyptus trees and in particular the tiny fresh shoots that appear at the top of the plant. These beetle swarms can do extensive damage to young eucalypt plantations causing dieback of the young shoots and defoliation of the tree.

In the numbers I saw I’m not too concerned for my trees. We have an agreement. They are allowed to eat 5% of the vegetation.

P.S. And don’t think I didn’t notice those pesky aphids in one photo, sucking the sap out of the new growth

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