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Egyptian Beetle Fact File

Appearance

The Egyptian beetle has a typical beetle appearance. Their entire body is black. As an insect they have six long legs and a pair of antenna at the front of their body. The elytra (hard covers over the wings) comes to a point at the end of the body. These elytra are smooth.

On the small head are a pair of prominent eyes.

Their body measures between 10 and 40mm (0.4-1.6in) long.

Diet

They are a herbivore. They will scavenge for a range of residue and organic waste materials such as rodent and bird droppings along with grain and dead plant matter.

In captivity they may be fed fruit and vegetables such as apple and carrot.

These animals are considered a pest of grain as they are able to spoil a grain crop.

egyptian beetle

Scientific Name

Blaps polychresta

Conservation Status

Not Evaluated

Length

10-40mm (0.4-1.6in)

Lifespan

3-4 years

Diet

Herbivorous

Range

Africa is the native home of the Egyptian beetle. Here they are found in Syria and Egypt.

A population exists in Australia. These were brought to the country on clipper ships carrying grain in the 1800s. They initially colonized South Australia and have since spread to western Victoria.

Habitat

Africa is the native home of the Egyptian beetle. Here they are found in Syria and Egypt.

A population exists in Australia. These were brought to the country on clipper ships carrying grain in the 1800s. They initially colonized South Australia and have since spread to western Victoria.

egyptian beetle

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Reproduction

Mating can take place year round in captivity.

Eggs are laid in the soil. These then hatch in to a larva. This long individual has a yellowish body with darker rings along it.

This will live in the soil until it enters its pupation stage. Here it will develop before emerging as an adult beetle. Once they become an adult they will not grow any larger.

Behavior

Mating can take place year round in captivity.

Eggs are laid in the soil. These then hatch in to a larva. This long individual has a yellowish body with darker rings along it.

This will live in the soil until it enters its pupation stage. Here it will develop before emerging as an adult beetle. Once they become an adult they will not grow any larger.

egyptian beetle

Predators and Threats

Egyptian beetles have expanded their range through human expansion. In Australia there is no active effort to remove this beetle as they are seen to be helpful due to them eating rodent and bird droppings.

Quick facts

In ancient Egypt they would hollow out the abdomen of an Egyptian beetle to turn this in to a charm.

They may also known be known as the blaps beetle, South African beetle or cellar beetle.

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Photo Credits

Top and Middle

Copyright. The Animal Facts.

Bottom

Entomology, CC, BY, CSIRO

References

Smith, J., 2016. Wildlife Of Greater Adelaide. Stepney, S.A.: Axiom Publishers.

Balegar KKV, Badawi N, Fa’asalele A, Carmo K. Spontaneous neonatal pneumomediastinum. Open J Pediatr 2011; 1: 37-8.

Jungledragon.com. 2020. Egyptian Beetle (Blaps Polychresta) – By Graeme Ruck – Jungledragon. [online] Available at: <https://www.jungledragon.com/image/12213/egyptian_beetle_blaps_polychresta.html> [Accessed 2 November 2020].

The Australian Museum. 2020. Live Displays In My Photo Studio. [online] Available at: <https://australian.museum/blog-archive/at-the-museum/live-displays-in-my-photo-studio/> [Accessed 2 November 2020].

Newton, M., 2020. Photo Sharing. Your Photos Look Better Here.. [online] Wildsouthaustralia.info. Available at: <https://www.wildsouthaustralia.info/Insects/Beetles/Tenebrionidae/Blaps-polychresta-Egyptian-Bee/i-Zv8TgTt/> [Accessed 2 November 2020].

Scienceimage.csiro.au. 2020. CSIRO Science Image – CSIRO Science Image. [online] Available at: <https://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/2456/> [Accessed 2 November 2020].

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