Beetling about

This little one was wandering about in full daylight, and by chance I was able to get the species name from the October 2021 edition of ANICdotes from the Australian National Insect Collection. ANIC’s beetle was from Lamington National Park, not so far from us.

It is the pie-dish beetle, one of the Pterohelaeus species. This beetle is also found in Brisbane, as Brisbaneinsects shows.

Pie-dish beetle, Pterohelaeus sp.

Pie-dish beetles feed mainly  on decaying vegetation, actively foraging on the ground at night. The hard flanges of the ‘pie dish’ on the back protect against attacks by spiders, scorpions, ants and other beetles.

During the day they shelter under bark, wood, stones or leaf litter.

Adults may live up to a year.

The common name for the taxonomic family is ‘darking beetles’, which is amusing as we were originally going to call our property ‘Darkling Wood’. It was ‘Castle Undulant’ for a while before we got the main house re-stumped. Maybe we should go back to ‘Darkling Wood’!

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