Soldier beetles march back to Baw Baw
Baw Baw News By William PJ Kulich // 17:29, Thursday 12 December 2013
PLAGUE soldier beetles have returned to Baw Baw for the mating season having visited the region in large numbers last summer.
Pictured: a plague soldier beetle in Warragul today. Photos by William PJ Kulich.
The beetles last came to the area in late 2012 before leaving early in January this year.
Then increased number of beetles last summer was due to what Monash University research fellow Doctor Damian Dowling described as “perfect” conditions.
“The beetles swarm to mate, forming huge mating aggregations,” Dr Dowling told The Warragul Citizen.
Pictured: beetles in Warragul in January.
“They will disperse following mating, and become relatively unnoticeable again.”
The return of the beetles will present no risk to animals or crops. That is, unless you care about your aphids.
“It is presumed they are not a significant garden pest, and might even be a good addition to the garden since they are thought to feed on other pests such as aphids,” Dr Dowling said.
“Because of this it is thought that there is no need or point in controlling their numbers.”
In January Monash University Professor Steven Chown and academic Doctor Melodie McGeoch explained good rainfall since 2009 had helped improve conditions for the beetles.
It remains to be seen if the beetles return to the area in numbers as strong as last summer.
Click here to read the full feature from January.
Pictured: beetles in Warragul today.
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