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Red and blue beetle

Red and blue beetle adults are most active in summer crops. They are omnivores, consuming pollen as well as insect prey.

Scientific name

Dicranolaius bellulus

Other names

  • Red and blue pollen beetle

Description

Elongated beetle, about 8mm long, with:

  • dark head, antennae and legs
  • red thorax
  • red and dark blue striped abdomen.

Males have enlarged third-antennal segments.

Distribution and habitat

Common in eastern and southern Australia in a range of habitats, occurring in large numbers in some years.

Hosts

Helicoverpa eggs and small larvae, and other small slow-moving insects.

Life cycle and ecology

Immature stages live in the soil for several months and emerge as adults in spring. The beetles actively forage during the day.

Factors that influence effectiveness

Beetle numbers reduce when exposed to:

  • rainfall
  • very high humidity
  • furrow irrigation
  • soil cultivation.

Further information