|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Cetonia aurata, known as the rose chafer, or more rarely as the green rose chafer, is a reasonably large beetle, 20 mm (¾ in) long, that has metallic green coloration (but can be bronze, copper, violet, blue/black or grey) with a distinct V shaped scutellum, the small triangular area between the wing cases just below the thorax, and having several other irregular small white lines and marks. The underside is a coppery colour. Rose chafers are capable of very fast flight; they do it with their wing cases down thus resembling a bumble bee, see photos below clearly illustrating it. They feed on flowers, nectar and pollen, in particular roses (from where they get their name); which is where they can be found on warm sunny days, between May and June/July, occasionally to September.|
The larvae are C–shaped, have a very firm wrinkled hairy body, a very small head and tiny legs; they move on their backs, which is a very quick way to identify them. Larvae overwinter wherever they have been feeding, that is in compost, manure, leafmould or rotting wood, and they pupate in June/July. Some adult beetles might emerge in the autumn, but the main emergence is in the spring when they mate. Following mating, the females lay their eggs in decaying organic matter, and then die. Larvae grow very fast, and before the end of autumn they would all have moulted twice. They have a two year life cycle.
Rose chafers are found over southern and central Europe and the southern part the UK where they seem to be sometimes very localized. They are a very beneficial saprophagous species (detritivore), their larvae are the insect equivalent of earth worms and help make very good compost where they are often found in great numbers.
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