Regal Fruit Chafer

Taurhina splendens

Regal Fruit Chafer

Taurhina splendens by Ryanvanhuyssteen (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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A close up photograph of Taurhina splendens
Taurhina splendens, or the Regal Fruit Chafer, is a species of Scarab beetle (Scarabaeidae) within the Flower beetles subfamily (Cetoniinae). These beetles are a vivid shade of emerald green with contrasting white patterning. The adults feed on sap flows, and they love the fruits of mango plants. These beetles don't tend to reside in garden habitats but are concentrated in the hot, tropical savanna.
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Traits

A beautiful beetle that can help pollinate flowers.

Appearance

These beetles are medium-sized to large (3cm). The texture of the wingcases is shiny metallic, and the pronotum (segment following the head) is an iridescent green with white on the margins. The elytra are green with thick white vertical stripes. The texture of the white patterning is almost like dry, chipped paint! There is a distinctive vertical green line that parts the wings. The legs are also shiny green. The males show a projected rectangular-pannel horn, which is utilised during battle for female mates and resources. The grubs (larvae) spend their entire lives below ground, developing in the soil. Tip: Derby's Flower Beetle (Dicronorrhina derbyana) is often seen feeding alongside T.splendens. They look extremely alike, but Derby's Flower Beetle displays less white on the wing cases and males possess different horn ornamentation.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Scarabaeidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Typically found in North-Eastern areas 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. 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.
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