For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flower Chafer Beetle (Dicronorrhina derbyana oberthueri)

This is Dicronorrhina and it is a fine male specimen. They belong to the sub-family Cetoniini which in turn belongs to the family Scarabaeidae (the same family as the dung beetles). They are not uncommon in the Pretoria area but are not as full up as, for example, the black and yellow fruit chafers which one finds in almost any garden.
The Dicronorrhina feed on plant sap and are also strongly attracted to overripe or fermenting fruit. The males defend their territory from other males, as well as other fruit chafers, by using their well developed horns. They have a life span of roughly 5 months (as beetles) usually starting in November. The larval and pupal stages together take about 9 months so they breed at the rate of approximately one generation per year. Factors such as temperature and humidity also have a great influence on the life cycles of insects. Female lays up to 200 eggs.
It is about 2 inches in body length. This one obligingly fell over allowing me a picture of its belly.