Glittering Monkey Beetle

Anisonyx ditus

Glittering Monkey Beetle

Photo by Nicola van Berkel (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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A picture of a glittering monkey beetle anisonyx ditus
Photo by Nicola van Berkel (CC BY-SA 4.0)
1 of 2
Scelophysa trimeni, or the 'Glittering Monkey Beetle', is a species of Scarab Beetle that's endemic to South Africa. They get their names from the glistening colours and textures on the elytra (wingcases). These beetles are the primary pollinators to some of the endemic flowers; mainly in the Leucadendron genus for this specific species. For this reason, they serve a crucial role in the ecosystem. Did you know? Monkey beetles will fight for females on the discs of some flowers. A comical watch, males can be so distracted fighting, a female can fly off disinterested, without them realising.
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Extremely important pollinators for the endemic flowers of South Africa.
They might eat the pollen of some flowers, and can tear petals with their feet while they do this. Not to worry, damage is aesthetic and plants survive.


An adult Glittering Monkey Beetle is considered small. They're roughly 1cm. A characteristic of these beetles is the long back legs, particularly notable in males. They are most often seen headfirst in the disks of flowers, devouring the pollen (while covered in it!). Both males and females appear similar. Both comprise similar amounts of black long-hair that cover the body and legs. Thus far, there seems to be no available information on the behaviour and ecology of monkey beetle larvae. It's assumed they develop underground, feeding on the rotting debris of plants.


Tearing of petals. Daisies may look less attractive. Insect legs may be visible, poking from the discs of daisy during an infestation.











These beautiful beetles are endemic to South Africa. They're restricted to the Western Coast of the region.

Biological treatment

We don't suggest treating your garden for these beetles. Endemic flowers rely on these beetles for pollination, hence reproduction (more plant babies)! It's also believed that the larvae of these beetles do considerable work to help break down organic matter, helping it turn into fertile soil at quicker rates.


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