T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Beetle (Two-tone Nectar Scarab beetle) Phyllotocus macleayi

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Scarabaeidae
Genus: Phyllotocus
Species: P. macleayi
Binominal name: Phyllotocus macleayi
Common names: Two-tone Nectar Scarab beetle, Nectar beetle, Christmas beetle

Phyllotocus macleayi is a small 10mm long species of beetle originally from Tasmania, Australia and is now present in New Zealand. They feed mainly on the flowers of Eucalyptus trees.
This little beetle can be a minor nuisance because on or around Christmas for 2 to 3 weeks at night they may swarm in their hundreds and a few usually find their way into houses.

The following a copy of text from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) PLANTS AND ENVIRONMENT INVESTIGATION REPORT: JANUARY TO MARCH 2015
“Live insects were found associated with, and apparently in, a DVD player recently purchased and imported from China. A week after purchase the owner used the DVD player for the first time, and a large number of cockroach-like insects reportedly swarmed out of the unit. Domestic fly spray was used to kill the insects. Samples received by MPI were identified as Phyllotocus macleayi (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), a species known in Australia as the nectar beetle as it mainly feeds on eucalypt. P. macleayi is also present in New Zealand. What the association was with the DVD player remains unclear.”


A  video of Phyllotocus macleayi