Home / Scarab Beetles (Scarabaeidae) / Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata)

Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata)

Rose chafer of the scarab beetles family is indigenous to the United Kingdom.  Mostly spotted in summer and autumn, these beetles thrive on rose flowers, accounting for their name.

Rose Chafer

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Scarabaeidae
  • Genus: Cetonia
  • Scientific name: Cetonia aurata

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size:  20 mm (0.78 inches)

Color: They have a metallic green body, marked with small white lines running irregularly all over their body. While the undersides have a coppery tinge, the upper part is mostly violet, bronze, grey, bluish-black, or copper.

Other Characteristic Features: They have a v-shaped scutellum that is one of the key identifying features. It also differentiates them from the closely similar noble chafer where the scutellum resembles an equilateral triangle.

Rose Chafer Beetle
Green Rose Chafer

Larva

The white grub-like larvae have a c-shaped appearance with a small head, miniature-sized legs, alongside a hairy, wrinkly body. The larva mostly feeds on rotting wood, leaf mold, manure, or compost, overwintering there. They molt twice, and their lifecycle lasts for approximately two years.

Rose Chafer Larvae

Pupa

Though not much is known about the pupa’s description, the pupation stage occurs between June and July.

Rose Chafer Pupa

Eggs

The small oval-shaped eggs appear white. The females lay them in the soil in clusters of 6 and 40, depositing each one of them in a separate enclosure. They hatch in about three weeks from being laid.

Quick Facts

Other NamesGreen rose chafer
Adult lifespan3 – 4 weeks (females die right after laying eggs)
Duration of larval stage1 – 2 years
DistributionThroughout southern and central Europe, the southern part of the UK (though rare in Wales and England), as well as in South East Asia
HabitatWoodlands, grasslands, moorland, gardens, farmlands
Common PredatorsBirds, wasps, spiders
Seasons active fromMay – July (though occasionally till late September too)
Host PlantsMostly rose, and peonies even found on grape, birch, apple, and cherry trees
Diet  of larvae and adultsLarvae: Decayed leaves, plants, and roots
Adults: Flower blossoms and foliages of several trees
Cetonia aurata

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The adult rose chafer species cause immense damage to the rose and other flowers, marring their beauty by making big irregular holes in them. Some even feed on the foliage, ending up skeletonizing the leaves completely while consuming their tissues.

You can set traps to catch these beetles or even handpick a few and throw them into soapy water. This organic control method can help if your garden is not heavily infested. However, large numbers of these beetles can only be combated by using pesticides. A floating row cover or cheesecloth may even help to lessen their numbers.

Rose Chafer Damage

Did You Know

  • One should not confuse the European rose chafer with another member of its family, the American rose chafer that also thrives and feeds on rose plants. The latter is yellowish-tan in color, also differing a little from the rose chafer in appearance.
  • Their green body is an outcome of structural coloration, where a specific color is created through a microscopically structured surface that has the capability of interfering with visible light.
Rose Chafer Images

Image Source: growveg.co.uk, animal.photos, i.pinimg.com, laidbackgardener.files.wordpress.com, amentsoc.org, farm1.staticflickr.com, canr.msu.edu, rspbgravesend.org.uk

Rose chafer of the scarab beetles family is indigenous to the United Kingdom.  Mostly spotted in summer and autumn, these beetles thrive on rose flowers, accounting for their name.

Rose Chafer

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size:  20 mm (0.78 inches)

Color: They have a metallic green body, marked with small white lines running irregularly all over their body. While the undersides have a coppery tinge, the upper part is mostly violet, bronze, grey, bluish-black, or copper.

Other Characteristic Features: They have a v-shaped scutellum that is one of the key identifying features. It also differentiates them from the closely similar noble chafer where the scutellum resembles an equilateral triangle.

Rose Chafer Beetle
Green Rose Chafer

Larva

The white grub-like larvae have a c-shaped appearance with a small head, miniature-sized legs, alongside a hairy, wrinkly body. The larva mostly feeds on rotting wood, leaf mold, manure, or compost, overwintering there. They molt twice, and their lifecycle lasts for approximately two years.

Rose Chafer Larvae

Pupa

Though not much is known about the pupa’s description, the pupation stage occurs between June and July.

Rose Chafer Pupa

Eggs

The small oval-shaped eggs appear white. The females lay them in the soil in clusters of 6 and 40, depositing each one of them in a separate enclosure. They hatch in about three weeks from being laid.

Quick Facts

Other NamesGreen rose chafer
Adult lifespan3 – 4 weeks (females die right after laying eggs)
Duration of larval stage1 – 2 years
DistributionThroughout southern and central Europe, the southern part of the UK (though rare in Wales and England), as well as in South East Asia
HabitatWoodlands, grasslands, moorland, gardens, farmlands
Common PredatorsBirds, wasps, spiders
Seasons active fromMay – July (though occasionally till late September too)
Host PlantsMostly rose, and peonies even found on grape, birch, apple, and cherry trees
Diet  of larvae and adultsLarvae: Decayed leaves, plants, and roots
Adults: Flower blossoms and foliages of several trees
Cetonia aurata

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The adult rose chafer species cause immense damage to the rose and other flowers, marring their beauty by making big irregular holes in them. Some even feed on the foliage, ending up skeletonizing the leaves completely while consuming their tissues.

You can set traps to catch these beetles or even handpick a few and throw them into soapy water. This organic control method can help if your garden is not heavily infested. However, large numbers of these beetles can only be combated by using pesticides. A floating row cover or cheesecloth may even help to lessen their numbers.

Rose Chafer Damage

Did You Know

  • One should not confuse the European rose chafer with another member of its family, the American rose chafer that also thrives and feeds on rose plants. The latter is yellowish-tan in color, also differing a little from the rose chafer in appearance.
  • Their green body is an outcome of structural coloration, where a specific color is created through a microscopically structured surface that has the capability of interfering with visible light.
Rose Chafer Images

Image Source: growveg.co.uk, animal.photos, i.pinimg.com, laidbackgardener.files.wordpress.com, amentsoc.org, farm1.staticflickr.com, canr.msu.edu, rspbgravesend.org.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.