Yellow-Belted Fruit Chafer

Plaesiorrhina plana

Yellow-Belted Fruit Chafer

Scarabaeidae - Plaesiorrhina plana by Hectonichus (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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A close up photograph of a yellow belted fruit chafer (plaesiorrhina plana)
Plaesiorrhina plana, or a Yellow-Belted Fruit Chafer, is a species of Scarab beetle (Scarabaeidae). These beetles are attracted to a variety of flowers and fruits, as well as sap flows! These beetles can be attracted to beehives too. They do a great deal of good for the ecosystem- as larvae, they help to break down soil organic matter, ultimately improving soil formation. Although they enjoy the flowers and fruits of various plants, they generally don't occupy garden habitats for too long.
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Appearance

These beetles are medium-sized (2.5cm) and are black with a contrasting yellow band, hence their common names. The pronotum has a thin yellow border, and there's some yellow on the insects stomach too if you can get a look! 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

South Africa, typically eastern savanna areas.

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. Proper lawn maintenance may be beneficial at keeping grub numbers low. General feeding, regular watering, aerating and scarifying are good maintenance practices. Removal of leaf litter and plant debris can also help make green spaces less attractive to beetles looking for a good hiding spot. 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. If available, beneficial nematodes can be diluted in water and sprinkled on lawns.

Chemical treatment

No specific chemical control for this beetle.

Attracts

These beetles are attracted to the sweet smell of honey, as well as sap flows.
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