Anoplognathus aureus

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Anoplognatus aureus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Superfamily: Scarabaeoidea
Family: Scarabaeidae
Genus: Anoplognathus
Species: A. aureus
Binomial name
Anoplognathus aureus
  • Calloodes frenchi Blackburn, 1890
  • Anoplognathus concinnus Blackburn, 1900

Anoplognathus aureus, commonly known as the gold Christmas beetle, is a beetle of the family Scarabaeidae native to northern Australia,[1] from northeastern Queensland to northern Western Australia. It is prized by collectors.[2]

English entomologist Charles Owen Waterhouse described the gold Christmas beetle in 1889.[3] The species name is the Latin adjective aureus "golden". The Reverend Thomas Blackburn described Calloodes frenchi in 1890, from a specimen given to him by Australian entomologist Charles French. Blackburn doubted the genus Calloodes was distinct from Anoplognathus.[4] Blackburn described Anoplognathus concinnus in 1900, which turned out to be a red-brown colour variant of this species.[5]

The beetle is a brass-gold,[3] gold or shiny red-brown colour with red-brown legs. Red-brown beetles have a gold sheen on their mesosternum and abdomen,[6] and behind the head.[5] The male is 12.5–14 millimetres (0.49–0.55 in) long, while the female is 14.5–16.5 millimetres (0.57–0.65 in) long. The margins of the male's scutellum have a purple tinge. The male's clypeus has a narrowed apex while that of the female has a more rounded shape. The elytra are smooth or have fine grooves along the sides. The pygidium is shallowly convex in profile.[6]

It is found in north Queensland from Cairns and Mossman south to Innisfail, and has been recorded from Broome in Western Australia.[7] It is not commonly encountered.[2]

It has been recorded on Hibiscus tiliaceus, Breynia cernua and Tristemma mauritianum.[6] There is some evidence it attacks sugarcane crops on the Atherton Tableland.[8]


  1. ^ Australian Biological Resources Study (17 December 2010). "Species Anoplognathus aureus Waterhouse, 1889". Australian Faunal Directory. Canberra, Australian Capital Territory: Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Australian Government. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Hangay, George; Zborowski, Paul (2010). A Guide to the Beetles of Australia. Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing. p. 99. ISBN 0-643-10193-4.
  3. ^ a b Waterhouse, Charles Own (1889). ". Descriptions of two new Coleoptera in the British Museum (Buprestidae and Rutelidae)". Annals of Natural History. 3: 360–61. doi:10.1080/00222938909460345.
  4. ^ Blackburn, Thomas (1890). "Notes on Australian Coleoptera, with descriptions of new species. Part VI". Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. 15: 147–56 [148].
  5. ^ a b Arrow, Gilbert J. (1919). "XLI.— Notes on Ruteline Coleoptera and descriptions of a few new species in the British Museum". Journal of Natural History. 4 (24): 379–85. doi:10.1080/00222931908673907.
  6. ^ a b c Carne, P.B. (1957). "A revision of the ruteline genus Anoplognathus Leach (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)". Australian Journal of Zoology. 5 (1): 88–143 [127]. doi:10.1071/zo9570088.
  7. ^ Carne, P.B. (1981). "Three new species of anoplognathus leach, and new distribution records for poorly known species (coleoptera: scarabaeidea: rutelinae)". Austral Entomology. 20 (4): 289–294. doi:10.1111/j.1440-6055.1981.tb01049.x.
  8. ^ Sallam, N.; Burgess, D.J.W.; Lowe, G.E.; Peck, D.R. (2011). "Survey of sugarcane pests and their natural enemies on the Atherton Tableland, far north Queensland" (PDF). Proc Aust Soc Sugar Cane Technol. 33: 1–8.