27 December, 2008

Christmas Beetles

Early Rains Bring out the Flowers and Insects.

Many trees are flowering on the Atherton Tablelands at the moment. The Queensland Maples, Flindersea brayleyana, look like giant cauliflowers in the rainforest. The River Cherries, Syzygium tierneyanum, flower either among the leaves or along the branches and sometimes both. Beetles are important pollinators in the Australian rainforests and while most are small there are some large colourful ones too.

The large beetle in this picture with the green lyre design is the small beetle in the picture above that. Below are a pair of Flower Longicorn beetle, Aridaeus thoracicus, which presumably gain some protection from their superficial similarity to wasps.

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