Adult beetles emerge during the early to mid summer period from the soil, hence the common name of "Christmas Beetles". From Family Scarabaeidae, there are approximately 34 species of Christmas Beetles distributed throughout Australia, most commonly in the high-rainfall coastal areas of eastern states.
After emerging, beetles fly a short distance to food plants to feed and mate. The females then return to the soil and lay eggs, although some lay eggs before feeding. Feeding and egg-laying may continue for several days. Adults may live for some weeks. Ref: Dept Primary Industries, Qld.
The Black Nail Beetle has immensely developed hind legs, with the male having thicker legs than the female. When I disturbed the beetles, they raised back legs in a horizontal posture, presumably to assume a more threatening size as a defense strategy.
It might sound like a rather odd pastime, spying on the mating practices of beetles, but what fascinating up-close observations! And all in my garden! This is the first time I have noticed this species of beetle in my yard, so it was a beaut find.
Christmas is different things to different people. I hope everyone stays safe over the festive season, and has reason to smile. I'd like to send a special "cheerio" to those who might be lonely, alone, unwell, low in spirit, or down on luck.