Chafers

Chafers belong to the same family as the scarab or dung beetles (Scarabaeidae).

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COCKCHAFER or MAYBUG – Melolontha melolontha

Body length: 35mm

Seen flying in May and June

The beetle, particularly the male,  has large impressive antennae that resemble antlers and open like a fan

The beetle, particularly the male, has large impressive antennae that resemble antlers and open like a fan

The most familiar of our chafers is the Cockchafer or ‘Maybug’ (Melolontha melolontha) – the adult beetle is a night-flier, sometimes swarming around trees and occasionally crashing into lighted windows on warm evenings in early summer. Its a large beetle and its clumsy, buzzing flight can make it a little alarming, but they are harmless and do not bite or sting.

ADULT has a hairy, red/brown elytra and the tip of the abdomen is pointed.

Maybug, underside view. Like a lot of larger beetles they have trouble righting themselves ince on their backs

Maybug, underside view. Like a lot of larger beetles they have trouble righting themselves once on their backs

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ROSE CHAFER – Cetonia aurata

Seen on flowers May – September

Body length: 15-21mm

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

2/7/08 Rose Chafer on Hogweed flowers. Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

A beautiful jewel-like beetle, this large chafer has a noisy, bumbling flight and seem to crash onto the flowers they feed on rather than land gracefully. They prefer flowery, sheltered places near or in older woodland; the larva live in old timber; but as adults they are quite mobile and can turn up anywhere.

ADULT: Usually has a bright metallic green thorax and wing cases, but may sometimes be dark green or bronze. The wing cases are lightly marked with small broken white stripes. Underneath is normally coppery red.

FOOD: They take pollen from a wide variety of flowers, including roses.

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