Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Creature Feature #207: Emerald Fruit Chafer

This is apparently an Emerald Fruit Chafer (Dicronorrhina derbyana), although he is also known as Derby's Flower Beetle, and may have to be moved into my F book under "Flower Chafer". Oh well, that will give me an excuse to draw an Elephant Bird. This just goes to show that common names are not necessarily reliable when it comes to insects and not to rely on Google Image search.

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. 

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