African Flower Beetle

Chlorocara africana

African Flower Beetle, Gleaming Fruit Chafer

by PetrusViv (All rights reserved)
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A close up of a green leaf
by PetrusViv (All rights reserved)
1 of 2
Chlorocara africana, or a Gleaming Fruit Chafer, is a beautiful iridescent Scarab beetle (Scarabaeidae). These beetles are highly variable, where some are green, others gold, blue or purple; depending on the subspecies. They're attracted to a variety of flowers and fruits, as well as sap flows! Proteas and Cassia pods are a particular favourite. They do a great deal of good for the ecosystem- as larvae, they mostly eat decaying wood and leaves, helping to increase the rate of soil formation. Although they enjoy the flowers and fruits of various plants, they generally don't occupy garden habitats for too long. They're most likely to be seen near woodland and savanna habitats.
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Traits

A beautiful beetle that can help pollinate flowers and break down soil organic matter!

Appearance

These beetles are medium-sized (2.3cm) and are metallic/ iridescent, meaning they can change colour slightly when the sun reflects from the elytra (wingcases). Depending on the subspecies, these beetles can be green, blue, purple, red, or golden. The grubs (larvae) spend their entire lives below ground, developing in the soil humus. Soil humus is the end product after all organic matter has broken down; it's full of plant nutrients too!

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Scarabaeidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Most commonly found on the Eastern coast of South Africa.

Biological treatment

The benefits this beetle provides the wider ecosystem outweigh any negatives. These beetles may take a few bites from flowers but at the same time provide decomposition and pollination services too. They're also a primary food resource for other insects, birds, rodents and reptiles. Chafer grubs thrive in dry soil, so regularly watering your lawn to keep the soil moist will help to deter them and will aid the grass recovery. Following the end of the warm season (end of the summer to autumn), you should scarify and aerate flower beds and turf. This should reveal any overwintering larvae in the soil. They can then be collected and placed somewhere for the birds or relocated elsewhere. It's thought that compressing the lawn in spring can make it difficult for females to lay eggs in the soil come summer.

Chemical treatment

No specific chemical control for this beetle.

Attracts

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Plant Knowledge

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