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Thousands of beetles invading the Gold Coast have claimed their first victim.

Ken Tomkins, 61, was hospitalized after skidding his bicycle into a mound of dead bugs and shattering his hip, collarbone and ribs, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.

Tomkins said he noticed the slick as he rode along The Esplanade at Surfers Paradise, but initially thought it was water or leaves.

He will be bedridden for six weeks after hitting the bugs, which were piled to the edge of the road by a council street sweeper, at about 25kph.

The water beetle invasion is a never-before-seen phenomenon that has stumped local scientists.

The incident was captured on amateur YouTube footage showing the large black beetles swarming around lights and dropping to the footpath in Surfers Paradise.


Comment: You can watch the video on YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2.


Entomologist Professor Clyde Wild from Queensland's Griffith University said he had no definitive explanation for why the beetles had turned up in such large numbers at the beach side holiday hot spot.

"I've never seen swarms of these like this before, why they are at the beach front escapes any explanation I can think of,'' Wild said.

''You might see two or three on any given night - this is literally thousands."