Striped Monkey Beetle

Heterochelus chiriagricus

Striped Monkey Beetle

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Heterochelus chiriagricus, or the 'Striped Monkey Beetle', is a species of Scarab Beetle that's endemic to South Africa. These beetles are the primary pollinators to some of the endemic flowers. For this reason, they serve a crucial role in the ecosystem. Striped Monkey Beetles are restricted to the Succulent Karoo and the dry Fynbos biomes of Southern Africa.
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Traits

Important pollinators for the endemic flowers of South Africa.

Appearance

Adults: An adult Striped 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!). For this species, the males and females look different from each other. The males are black with patchy bright-orange elytra with variable brown patches; their legs are strong and over-developed. The females are more a drab brown, with 4 faint orange bars.

Symptoms

Daisies may look less attractive.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Scarabaeidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Endemic to western South Africa

Biological treatment

We don't suggest treating your garden for these beetles. Endemic flowers rely on these beetles for pollination, hence reproduction! It's thought 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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