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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

07 November, 2016

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