Rose Chafer

Rose Chafer ©Derek Moore

Rose Chafer

Scientific name: Cetonia aurata
The Rose Chafer can be spotted on garden flowers, as well as in grassland, woodland edges and scrub. Although considered a garden pest, it is an important recycler of nutrients, feeding on decaying matter.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1.7-2.0cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to October

About

The Rose Chafer is a large, broad beetle that is found in grassland, scrub and along woodland edges. The adults feed on flowers, particularly Dog Roses, during the summer and autumn, and can be spotted in warm, sunny weather. The larvae feed on decaying leaves, plants and roots, living in the soil for several years as they develop. When they pupate, they hibernate in the soil or in rotting wood over winter, ready to emerge as adults the following spring.

How to identify

The Rose Chafer is metallic coppery-green with small, creamy-white streaks on its wing cases. It might be mistaken for the Noble Chafer, but this is a much rarer beetle associated with traditional orchards.

Distribution

Widespread, but scarce, in England and Wales.

Did you know?

The Rose Chafer is often seen on flowers in the garden, and is sometimes considered a pest for munching its way through these plants. However, it is an important detritivore - feeding on dead and decaying matter and recycling its nutrients - and is a helpful addition to any compost heap.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.