A rose chafer by any other name

, 11 June 2021
A rose chafer by any other name
Rose chafer beetle / Crispin Holloway

By Michael Blencowe

Lewes has a lot to be proud of. Two Sussex Wildlife Trust nature reserves, a brewery as well as a dramatic history of battles, earthquakes, flooding, avalanches and explosive bonfire celebrations. It’s amazing that it’s still on the map.

But one map Lewes is still firmly found on is the distribution map of one of Britain’s most impressive beetles. Lewes is a real hot-spot for the rose chafer. It really loves it there!

The rose chafer is one seriously glamorous insect. Each one looks like it’s been designed, carefully crafted, coated in the most dazzling metallic green and hand polished. How can I put it? - the rose chafer looks expensive.

Their resemblance to Egyptian scarabs brings the romance of The Nile to any compost heap - great places for their C-shaped larvae to develop.

They’re powerful flyers too. Like miniature Transformers they can suddenly extend their smoky wings from underneath their metallic elytra (wing cases) and, with a short, sharp buzz, take to the air. Admittedly they do tend to crash into fences quite a bit. I said they were beautiful, I didn’t say they were graceful.

Rose Chafer Michael Blencowe

Lewes folk are very proud that their town is the best place in the county to find this stunning insect but there are other 'hot spots' in the county for this localised species such as Seaford and Arundel. 

Let us know (below) where you see a rose chafer this summer.   

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Comments

  • Rosemary:

    Rose chafer beetle in the garden today. TN6 1TR

    11 Jun 2021 20:23:00

  • Charlotte:

    Lots of rose chafer beetles in our Brighton (BN1) garden for last 2-3 years. The beetles are very beautiful but their grubs are very popular with the local foxes who spend their time digging up my plants both in the ground and pots!

    15 Jun 2021 09:54:00

  • Gemma:

    3 Rose Chafer beetles in my garden.
    Bn99sw

    15 Jun 2021 10:27:00

  • Jacqueline:

    Lots of Rose Chafer beetles in my garden, in Seaford, and grubs in my rose plant containers I discover when repotting them recently. BN25 2DL

    15 Jun 2021 15:23:00

  • Pat Weeks:

    two rose chafers in my garden 11 June. TN22 3AP

    19 Jun 2021 21:44:00

  • Pip Piper:

    Hailsham BN27 1NG last week. Flying near my roses!
    Also found a dead one and grubs last year. (Photos available)

    26 Jun 2021 22:10:00

  • Gill Staplehurst:

    Hailsham bn27 I accidentally dug up two sleeping rose chafer beetles today. I thought they were dead but as the sun warmed them they started to move around

    12 Mar 2022 15:50:00

  • Lisa Cull:

    Saw a Rose chafer this morning on a path in my garden BN22 8PJ I have an old hydrangea and wonder if the grubs are laid there for the old wood? It ambled back to the hydrangea after I took photos of it and burrowed into the soil.

    23 Apr 2022 09:37:00

  • Sarah Ball:

    Seen at school grounds in Ashtead, Surrey on 16 May 2022

    17 May 2022 17:33:00

  • Elizabeth Mends:

    I live in SW London … SW13 and saw one in my small garden today

    20 May 2022 16:07:00

  • Carly Martin-Cramp:

    Seen in Peacehaven, East Sussex on the 31 May 22

    02 Jun 2022 08:39:00

  • Carly Martin-Cramp:

    Seen in Peacehaven, East Sussex on the 31 May 22

    02 Jun 2022 08:39:00

  • Sonja:

    I’ve seen 2 of these in my garden this afternoon. Didn’t know what they were. Bristol.

    02 Jun 2022 14:24:00

  • Sonja:

    I’ve seen 2 of these in my garden this afternoon. Didn’t know what they were. Bristol.

    02 Jun 2022 14:26:00

  • Amanda Rickman:

    In the New Forest. Near Brockenhurst, Hampshire

    02 Jun 2022 17:40:00

  • Liz lloyd:

    Had one in the garden in Bristol today. Though it was a bee as it buzzed so loudly. Got a couple of pics too

    11 Jun 2022 11:47:00

  • Sian Ede:

    Seen in our garden in north Brighton. We are close to the start of the Southdowns National Park. Bn18ej

    11 Jun 2022 17:31:00