Subject: Foxes
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 08:27:48 +1000

The Purcell family wrote:

Of note, a fox scat on my property which appeared to be comprised entirely of
the casings/wing covers of those big (2.5 cm) gold christmas beetles. These
beetles do a fair amount of damage to my young trees at this time of year - some
of the young trees have up to 10 beetles clasping the foliage, leaving saw tooth
bite patterns. I have yet to see any of the birds hunting them out!

Some years ago, I watched as a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike battered one of these
beetles for some time before feeding it to a nestling.  I suspect that predation
by foxes and birds is likely to have little impact on these beetles, compared
with their insect predators and parasites mentioned by Michael Norris.  Let's
get more of that understorey back!



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