Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus macleayi) are scarabs that is sometimes referenced in the subfamilia Rutelinae, and belonging to the family Scarabaeidae, genus Anoplognathus, consisting of more then 30 species.

Found in parts of Western Australia, Central Australia and into the northern parts of the Territory, Anoplognathus macleayi, the Christmas Beetles are relatively large with spiny legs that are used for digging.

Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus macleayi)
Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus macleayi), Palm Valley, Central Australia

The pictured beetle is cream with a slight gold colouration. Christmas beetles are quite vibrant in appearance, and depending on the species, often yellow, golden or a bright metallic green.

These scarab beetles reproduce yearly, with the eggs laid into the soil. The larva feed and grow through the year. Pupation takes a few weeks, with the adults emerging in spring to early summer.

As adults, Christmas beetles tend to feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves.

Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus macleayi)
Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus macleayi), Palm Valley, Central Australia

  • Scientific classification
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Scarabaeidae
  • Genus: Anoplognathus
  • Species: A. macleayi
  • Binomial name: Anoplognathus macleayi