As anyone who has ever visited Australia during the warmer months will know, there are at least 1 duodecillion – 100013 – creepy-crawlies for every man, woman and child and each of them wants to swarm near you, land on you, crawl on you, startle you, bite you or kill you.
This week’s swarm is called the ‘Plague Soldier Beetle’ (Chauliognathus lugubris) – a big name for an insect that really causes no damage whatsoever. It is generally brought on in large numbers in temperate areas when conditions have been warm and wet from late winter to early summer, so this year, that means me. Here is a rare sight….just one:
So, moving away from the house, this is how they normally appear (click to enlarge):
They actually generally feed on nectar, so are something of a pollinator, and their larvae feed on other insects (both beneficial and pests) so they are really aren’t a bother in the garden. They are, however, everywhere, which makes them something of a nuisance.
Being poisonous and therefore eaten by nothing, they have absolutely no fear whatsoever, only casually moving away if you interrupt their almost continual mating.
Happy Gardening 🙂