General Description

Body flat and elongated with yellow-orange stripe behind the head (around back of pronotum). Wing cases (elytra) metallic olive green, covering a yellow-orange abdomen. The legs, head, antennae and rest of the pronotum are black. Body up to 2 cm long, usually around 1.5 cm.


This species earned its common name of the Plague Soldier Beetle not as a result of bringing or spreading any dangerous plagues, but becauseof its habit of forming huge mating swarms in late summer. They are seen in smaller numbers in the spring and autumn. During their mating periods they can appear in such large numbers that it is not uncommon for them to weigh down the limbs of weaker plants. After the mating swarm the beetles tend to disperse. They visit flowers and are thought to feed on nectar, pollen and soft-bodied invertebrates. Their larvae live in the soil and eat soft-bodied invertebrates. Their bright colour warns off predators as they are capable of releasing distasteful chemicals and would not make a good meal.


South-eastern mainland Australia and Tasmania.


Woodlands, dry sclerophyll forests and gardens.

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