Noble chafer beetle

Noble chafer ©Harry Green

Noble chafer

Scientific name: Gnorimus nobilis
The Noble chafer is a rare and beautiful metallic-green beetle that can be found in traditional orchards. It is on the wing over summer, feeding on umbellifers. The larvae live in the decaying wood of old trees.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 2cm

Conservation status

Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

When to see

June to August

About

The Noble chafer is a rare, metallic-green beetle that can be found in traditional orchards. The larvae live in old, decaying fruit trees, where they take up to three years to develop into adult beetles. Adults are on the wing for about six weeks from June to August, and feed on elders and umbellifers, such as Hogweed and Meadowsweet.

How to identify

Adult Noble chafers are metallic bronze-green, with white speckles. It can be confused with the Rose chafer (Cetonia aura), but has wrinkled wing cases; the Rose chafer has smooth wing cases.

Distribution

Mainly found in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, but also recorded in the New Forest, Oxfordshire and Kent.

Did you know?

The droppings of the Noble chafer, known as 'frass', resemble ground coffee. They can be extracted from tree holes with a long-handled spoon to confirm the presence of this rare species.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts are working with other organisations on projects to help conserve our orchards and the wildlife they support; for example, many local Trusts look after traditional orchards, or are cultivating orchards, on working farm nature reserves. You can help Mistletoe to spread by growing it in your own garden - extract the seeds and sticky juice from the berries of a cutting and wipe them on a young branch of a suitable tree, such as an apple. To find out more about gardening for wildlife visit our Wild About Gardens website.