Flower chafer

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Flower chafer
Cetonia aurata, the green rose chafer
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Scarabaeidae
Subfamily: Cetoniinae
Leach, 1815

Flower chafers are a group of scarab beetles, comprising the subfamily Cetoniinae. Many species are diurnal and visit flowers for pollen and nectar, or to browse on the petals. Some species also feed on fruit. The group is also called fruit and flower chafers, flower beetles and flower scarabs. There are around 4,000 species, many of them still undescribed.

Twelve tribes are presently recognized: Cetoniini, Cremastocheilini, Diplognathini, Goliathini, Gymnetini, Phaedimini, Schizorhinini, Stenotarsiini, Taenioderini, Trichiini, Valgini, and Xiphoscelidini.[1] The tribe Gymnetini is the biggest of the American tribes, and Goliathini contains the largest species, and is mainly found in the rainforest regions of Africa.


Adult flower chafers are usually brightly coloured beetles, often metallic, and somewhat flattened in shape. The insertions of the antennae are visible from above, while the mandibles and labrum are hidden by the clypeus. The elytra lack a narrow membranous margin and are truncate to expose the pygidium. The abdominal spiracles are diverging so that several lie on the abdominal sternites with at least one exposed. The fore coxae are conical and produced ventrally, while the mid coxae are transverse or only slightly oblique. The mesothoracic epimera is visible from above. The tarsi are each equipped with a pair of simple (not forked) tarsal claws of subequal size.[2][3]

A feature possessed by adults of many flower chafers, especially Cetoniini, is lateral emargination of the elytra.[4]

Larvae are stout-bodied and very hairy with short legs. The head is partly covered by the prothorax. Each antenna has the apical segment as wide as the penultimate segment. The galea and lacinia are used to form a mala. The anal cleft is transverse. The mandible has a ventral stridulating area. The labrum is symmetrical with a deeply pigmented notch on each side of the midline.[2]


Adult cetoniines are herbivorous, being found on flowers (from which they consume nectar and pollen), tree sap and rotting fruit. Larvae generally live and feed in decaying plant matter (including decaying wood) or soil. In captivity, cetoniine larvae will feed on soft fruit.[2][3]

Many species in the tribe Cremastocheilini are known to be predaceous, feeding on hymenopteran larvae or soft-bodied nymphs of Auchenorrhyncha. Spilophorus spp. have been noted feeding on the nesting material and excrement of South African passerine birds,[5] while Spilophorus maculatus has been recorded feeding on Oxyrhachis sp. nymphs[6] and Hoplostomus fuligineus is known to feed on the brood of honey bees in South Africa and the pupae of the wasp Belonogaster petiolata. Campsiura javanica feeds on the larvae of Ropalidia montana in southern India.[7] Cremastocheilus stathamae feeds on ants of the genus Myrmecocystus.[8]

In terms of movement, adults are considered some of the best flyers among beetles. They can hover above and land on flowers or fruit. When threatened by predators, they escape by either performing a rush take off or by falling toward the ground and then flying before impact. Many cetoniines fly with their elytra closed, as their hindwings can unfold and slide out under the elytra during flight (thanks to the emargination of the elytra).[4]

Larvae of some taxa can crawl on their backs using their tergal folds, which are covered in strong bristles. Others crawl on their legs.[2][4]

Systematics and taxonomy[edit]

The tribes of subfamily Cetoniinae, with some notable genera also listed, are:[9]

Tribus Cetoniini[edit]

Protaetia cuprea ignicollis

Subtribus Cetoniina

Subtribus Euphoriina

Subtribus Leucocelina

Tribus Cremastocheilini[edit]

Subtribus Aspilina

Subtribus Coenochilina

Subtribus Cremastocheilina

Subtribus Cymophorina

Subtribus Genuchina

Subtribus Goliathopsidina

Subtribus Heterogeniina

Subtribus Lissogeniina

Subtribus Macromina

Subtribus Nyassinina

Subtribus Oplostomatina

Subtribus Pilinurgina

Subtribus Spilophorina

Subtribus Telochilina

Subtribus Trichoplina

Subtribus Trogodina

Tribus Diplognathini[edit]

Tribus Goliathini[edit]

Subtribus Dicronocephalina

Subtribus Goliathina

Subtribus Ichnestomatina

Subtribus Rhomborhinina

Tribus Gymnetini[edit]

Subtribus Blaesiina

Subtribus Gymnetina

Tribus Phaedimini[edit]

Tribus Schizorhinini[edit]

Subtribus Lomapterina

Subtribus Schizorhinina

Tribus Stenotarsiini[edit]

Subtribus Anochiliina

Subtribus Chromoptiliina

Subtribus Coptomiina

Subtribus Doryscelina

Subtribus Euchroeina

Subtribus Heterophanina

Subtribus Heterosomatina

Subtribus Pantoliina

Subtribus Parachilina

Subtribus Stenotarsiina

Tribus Taenioderini[edit]

Tribus Trichiini[edit]

Subtribus Cryptodontina

Subtribus Incaina

Subtribus Osmodermatina

Subtribus Platygeniina

Subtribus Trichiina

Tribus Valgini[edit]

Subtribe Microvalgina

Subtribe Valgina

Tribus Xiphoscelidini[edit]


  1. ^ Bouchard, P.; Bousquet, Y.; Davies, A.; Alonso-Zarazaga, M.; Lawrence, J.; Lyal, C.; Newton, A.; Reid, C.; Schmitt, M.; Ślipiński, A.; Smith, A. (2011). "Family-group names in Coleoptera (Insecta)". ZooKeys (88): 1–972. doi:10.3897/zookeys.88.807. PMC 3088472. PMID 21594053.
  2. ^ a b c d "Australian Faunal Directory". biodiversity.org.au. Retrieved 2022-12-08.
  3. ^ a b "Subfamily Cetoniinae - Fruit and Flower Chafers". bugguide.net. Retrieved 2022-12-08.
  4. ^ a b c Šípek, Petr; Fabrizi, Silvia; Eberle, Jonas; Ahrens, Dirk (2016). "A molecular phylogeny of rose chafers (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae) reveals a complex and concerted morphological evolution related to their flight mode". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 101: 163–175. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.05.012. PMID 27165937.
  5. ^ Shipley, A. E.; Marshall, Guy A. K., eds. (1910). The Fauna of British India. London, Calcutta and Bombay: Taylor and Francis. p. 201.
  6. ^ Ghorpade, K.D. (1975). "A remarkable predacious cetoniid, Spilophorus maculatus (Gory & Percheron), from southern India (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)". The Coleopterists Bulletin. 29 (4): 226–230. JSTOR 3999660.
  7. ^ Jeanne, Robert L. & J. H. Hunt (1992). "Beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) in a social wasp nest (Hymenoptera, Vespidae) in India" (PDF). Entomologist's Monthly Magazine. 128: 139–141. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-10-28.
  8. ^ Cazier, M.A. & Marjorie Statham (1962). "The behaviour and habits of the myrmecophilous scarab, Cremastocheilus stathamae Cazier, with notes on other species (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)". J. New York Entomol. Soc. 70: 125–149.
  9. ^ "Subfamily Cetoniinae Leach, 1815". Retrieved 2010-12-29.

External links[edit]