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There is a select group creatures that is synonymous Christmas - donkeys, reindeer, turkeys and robins. The image a beetle does not spring to mind when thinking the festive season. However, there is actually a Christmas beetle, but this Christmas it has gone missing. Australia's Christmas beetle used to be an indication that the holiday season was its way the land down . Its numbers have declined alarmingly. Dr Tanya Latty, an entomologist the University of Sydney, said: "Everybody over the age 35 remembers there being huge numbers Christmas beetles when they were kids, but that just doesn't seem to happen any more."

The Christmas beetle is as unique to Australia as koalas and kangaroos. It is a colourful, shiny and harmless bug. Dr Latty told the BBC: "We have Australia this really unique biological event where Christmas is associated the arrival these beautiful, glittery, friendly beetles." She said it was "absolutely critical" to find why there are so few . Scientists suspect that their dwindling numbers are due to habitat loss. 2020, bushfires wiped out huge swathes forest that were home the beetles. Australia has the worst rate mammal extinction in the world. Scientists fear the Christmas beetle may also soon die . They asked people to send them photos if they see the beetle.

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