Common-Dotted Fruit Chafer

Cyrtothyrea marginalis

Common-Dotted Fruit Chafer

Photo by Noeleen du Toit (CC BY 4.0)
1 of 5
A close up of a common dotted fruit chafer (cyrtothyrea marginalis) on a arum lily
Photo by Noeleen du Toit (CC BY 4.0)
1 of 5
The Common-Dotted Fruit Chafer is a shiny-black beetle with white spots. It belongs to the Scarab beetle family (Scarabaeidae), also referred to as dung beetles because the larvae develop within cattle manure. These beetles are active during the day and have a strong attraction for flowers and dung. The adults are nectar feeders, so are vital pollinators of some indigenous plants, such as lily, orchids, protea and asclepiad. These beetles sometimes use the anthers of lilies as a launchpad for take-off!
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Traits

The adults may nibble on the petals of ornamental plants, however, feed mostly on the nectar.
Flower chafers are brilliant pollinators. Their larvae may also help the decomposition of animal dung.

Appearance

A small beetle, barely reaching a centimeter. They're shiny black with numerous white spots. The sides of the body a reddish-brown. The stomachs possess grey hairs, perfect for carrying pollen from plant to plant! You're most likely to see them on flowers or in fruit bushes and trees.

Symptoms

These beetles may attack the petals of some ornamental plants.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Scarabaeidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

South Africa

Biological treatment

These beetles don't tend to be aggressive feeders. They may eat the petals of flowers, but ultimately, are probably important pollinators for several indigenous plants. If in the instance these beetles are numerous, handpicking them from flowers and dropping in soapy water is sufficient for their control.

Chemical treatment

It's not advised to use pesticides against this insect. Pesticides tend not to penetrate the hardened wingcases so are less effective as a means of treatment. Larvae develop within dung so there's no need for lawn treatment where these beetles are present.

Attracts

These beetles are attracted to lilies, orchids, protea and asclepiad. Arum Lilies are one of their favourites.
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