Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Creature Feature #207: Emerald Fruit Chafer
The name Emerald Fruit Chafer is generally used to refer to Rhabdotis aulica whose colours are not quite as striking.
Anyway, let us tell you a bit about Chafer beetles, specifically the fellow I have actually drawn. They are a member of the Scarab family, making them related to Dung Beetles. Their diet, however, consists more of vegetation. Adults feed primarily on tree sap and fruits. He is found in sub-Saharan Africa and grows no more than about 50mm in length. Only the males sport the T-shaped "horn". This horn is used to dig into the fruit, splitting the outer skin. Males can also be quite aggressive. Females will lay up to 200 eggs and the young larvae feed on decaying vegetable matter. It takes the larvae 8-9 months to reach maturity, and then they will survive for 3-4 months as an adult.
The other Emerald Fruit Chafer if also a member of the Scarab family and lives in Africa. She lays her eggs in animal manure and the hatching larvae are protected by a clay case. Her diet consists mainly of flowers and fruits and adults only grow to about 25mm long.