Phyllopertha horticola: the garden chafer

The garden chafer (Phyllopertha horticola)  is one of the smallest of the chafer beetles being just over 1 cm long. Despite this it is easily seen due to the bright iridescent colouring which shines in the summer sun revealing a metallic green thorax and bronze elytra (wing cases). The adults can be seen on sunny days in May and June feeding on the leaves of various plants. They also visit flowers.
Although quite an attractive beetle it is something of a pest on fruit crops and the larvae feed on the roots of grasses (including cereal crops). As a result it is a persecuted little beast and is now seen less frequently that it once was due to the increased use of pesticides. It is a local species but distributed across southern Britain and they they can sometimes be seen in swarms although this is far less common now that it was in the past.
Phyllopertha horticola: the garden chafer

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