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Rose chafer Cetonia aurata (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae)

Click on a picture to see a larger view.

Here is a collection of photos trying to illustrate the life cycle of this beautiful beetle (15-21mm long).
All photos were taken in Colchester, Essex, CO3 3AT, UK, which seems to have an interesting hot-spot for rose chafers.
Indeed the results of the ongoing Colchester Rose Chafer Survey seem to indicate that, at present, Colchester records together with a single one from Witham, are the only ones for the whole of Essex, see Species account, Essex Field Club.
Rose chafers seem to be expanding their range in the Colchester area; otherwise they are a southern beetle. For instance, there is a very colony around Bristol.
Sometimes their larvae can be found in plant pots where they seem to feed in the compost; in my experience they don't seem to do any damage to the plants.

Please, contact me if you have found some of their larvae or adults.
All records of imagos, and larvae would be very appreciated.

LA CÉTOINE DORÉE (Cetonia aurata)! (Coléoptère Cetoniidae) - A very informative page by André Lequet who has followed the whole life cycle and is showing pictures of their eggs.
Wikipedia page for Cetonia aurata
Cetonia aurata semiochemical, Pherobase. They do smell very strongly when distressed. Now we know that it probably is anethole.
Rose Chafer – Friend or Foe ? Tatnam Organic Patch - An Urban Oasis Wildlife and Organic Garden
Cetonia aurata (rose chafer) - Species of the day, Nature Online, Natural History Museum, London.

Warning!  There are some websites that state that Cetonia aurata larvae feed on fresh roots. This is wrong. Flower chafers, C. aurata included, do not feed on fresh roots!
It is about time that the information on this http://www.arkive.org/rose-chafer/cetonia-aurata/ page was corrected. Unfortunatetly, it has now been coppied and pasted in the Encyclopedia of Life! Please, also note that their larvae pupate in the middle of the summer, overwinter as adults and mate the following spring.

Some references:
Chinery M (2005)  Collins Complete British Insects (Collins).
Englund R (1993)  Movement patterns of Cetonia beetles (Scarabaeidae) among flowering Viburnum opulus (Caprifoliaceae). Oecologia 94:295-302.
Fremlin M (2008)  Know Your Chafers, Nature in North-East Essex, 40-45. [PDF]
Jessop L (1987)  Dung Beetles and Chafers (Scarabaeoidea), 2nd ed.
Karolyi F, Gorb SN, Krenn HW (2009)  Trapping pollen by the moist mouth: structure and function of the mouthparts in the flower visiting Cetonia aurata (Scarabeidae, Coleoptera). Arthropod-Plant Interactions 3:1-8. [PDF]
Micó E. and GALANTE, E. (2003)  Biology and New Larval Descriptions for Three Cetoniine Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae: Cetoniini: Cetoniina, Leucocelina). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 96(2): 95-106.
Micó E. and GALANTE, E. (2003)  Larval morphology and biology of four Netocia and Potosia species (Coleoptera: Cetoniidae: Cetoniinae). Eur. J. Entomol. 100: 131-142.
Micó, E., Juárez, M., Sánchez, A. & Galante, E. (2011)  Action of the saproxylic scarab larva Cetonia aurataeformis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Cetoniidae) on woody substrates. Journal of Natural History, 45:41-42, 2527-2542.
Tashiro H (1990)  Insecta: Coleoptera, Scarabaeida Larvae, Soil Biology Guide, Edited by Daniel L. Dindal.

Contact: Maria Fremlin.

Last updated January 2013.

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