Mon, 02 Jul 2001 21:44:25 +1000
It's great to be reading a bit more about scarab beetles and
There was an earlier thread about them on Birding-Aus in January
with the subject "Foxes" because the Purcells had found lots of
Christmas Beetle [another scarab] wing covers in fox scats.
In reply I mentioned the Victorian DNRE's Land for Wildlife Note
no. 32 (which can be found via http://www.nre.vic.gov.au - sn
earlier version was published by BOCA in The Bird Observer
The note tells how 10 species of native wasp predate on scarab
larvae but, as flying adults, need understorey plants such as
burgan and wattles for their diet of nectar and pollen.
This was just before all across Melbourne there were unusual
numbers of Blue Flower Wasps (Scolia soror), perhaps, from my
unlearned observations, associated with the larvae of another
scarab, the Cow Beetle (which Magpies were hunting). I was
amazed at how quickly the wasps could burrow down into mulch in
search, I assume, of the larvae.
While encouraging Starlings may be a good short-term fix,
providing indigenous understorey is more likely to support
healthy farming and lawns.
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