Picture of beetle invasion in Surfers Paradise. Sent in by reader Norman Herfurth.
A SWARM of water beetles is wreaking havoc across the Australian Tourist Mecca
THOUSANDS of beetles are swarming Surfers Paradise in a never before seen phenomenon that has stumped local scientists.
The water beetle invasion captured on amateur youtube footage shows the large black beetles swarming around lights and dropping to the footpath on The Esplanade last night.
Watch Beetles Swarming Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQGABy-hqo8
Watch Beetles Swarming Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAqyLbeOhwc
Griffith University entomologist Professor Clyde Wild said he had no definitive explanation for the rare phenomenon. ''I've never seen swarms of these like this before, why they are at the beach front escapes any explanation I can think of,'' Prof Wild said. ''You might see two or three on any given night - this is literally thousands. They haven't come out of the sea, they live in fresh water and live on larvae, or eating other insects.''
Prof Wild said he would be less surprised if the invasion had occurred in areas that had recently flooded. ''If there was masses of flowing water, a lot of habitat, it would make more sense. But it hasn't been that wet on the Gold Coast so it's a very curious phenomenon. They can fly very well, kilometres, but if for instance they were breeding in a river, or a swamp that had dried up, I can't see the connection as to why they would relocate to the beachfront.''[goldcoast.com.au]