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Cylindraustralia kochii, a sandgroper (subterranean insect)
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From sand +‎ groper. The sense “Western Australian” may originate either as a reference to the relatively large proportion of desert in the state or to gold mining during the rushes of the 19th Century.


sandgroper (plural sandgropers)

  1. (Australia, humorous) An inhabitant of Western Australia.
    • 2008, John Devaney, Full Points Footy′s WA Football Companion[1], page 320:
      On both occasions the sandgropers downed the ‘big V’, as indeed they did in 1947 at Hobart when finishing second; the VFL′s only other defeat in 68 pre-state of origin carnival games came in 1911 against South Australia in Adelaide.
    • 2011, Ashley Browne (editor), The Grand Finals: 1897-1938[2], volume 1, page 370:
      Leonard not only accepted, he told the club he could help sign several West Australians. The Foreign Legion policy was born and, through Leonard′s personal contacts, South [Melbourne] signed Sandgropers Brighton Diggins and Bill Faul (both from Subiaco) and Gilbert Beard (South Fremantle).
    • 2011, John Hunt, Princess: The Miss Andretti Story[3], page 288:
      After the race, Damien Oliver added to an already magnificent occasion for David Mueller by spending some time with his fellow Sandgroper and giving Mueller the jockey′s trophy from the race as a memento.
  2. Any species of the family Cylindrachetidae of subterranean insects, found in Australia, New Guinea and Argentina.
    • 1980, Western Australian Department of Agriculture, Journal[4], page 53:
      The sandgroper is not unique to Western Australia, being found elsewhere in Australia and also in New Guinea, [] .
    • 2001, Simon A. Levin, Encyclopedia of Biodiversity[5], page 264:
      Most species are small, 4 to 15 mm in length, although some sandgropers (Cylindrachetidae) can reach the length of 40 mm.
    • 2007, Peter T. Bailey, Pests of Field Crops and Pastures: Identification and Control[6], page 13:
      Sandgropers remain under the soil surface and are only seen when soil is worked or dug.