Meet the residents – big black beetle.

The Man of the House brought this in to show me one night last week. I think it’s an African Black Beetle, heteronychus arator.

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T.E.R.R.A.I.N says they grow up to 15 mm (1/2 an inch) long but this one seemed enormous especially when buzzing around the lounge and banging into the light shade. I’ve never seen such a big one before.

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The black beetle was accidentally introduced here from Africa, via Australia last century and has become a serious pasture and lawn pest in the top half of NZ’s North Island.

We’ve been having a very hot and dry summer. That may account for the size of this beast.

4 comments

  1. Hi Wendy. Hope you’re well. I saw something a while back about how they are releasing dung beetles here to see if they can control emissions from cattle (I think) by processing their manure. I may have got that wrong but I find it fascinating that (researched) releases still occur…I worked with various bugs last year linked to controlling invasive plant species. Looks like quite a beetle there…did you discover what kind of threat that one poses to NZ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Graham, good to hear from you. I am well thanks, hope you are too. I heard the same thing but I don’t know if it went ahead. I too am amazed that we still bring these things in. It seems we’ve learnt nothing from what’s come before but I can see that there is a lot of pressure from farmers and orchardists. And we have certainly benefitted from the introduction of ragwort eating bugs.

      Like

      • The micro world sure is interesting. I was working with Tradescantia leaf beetles last summer…another agent to combat the plant spreading. Amazing what these little guys can achieve. Like you, I worry that they can’t possibly have researched everything before release…

        Liked by 1 person

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