Confirmation summer has arrived comes when we start getting the rose chafer (Cetonia aurata) in the garden, usually on the white flowers of our rowan tree and on our snowball tree. In the sunshine this is wonderful metallic coloured insect, about 3/4 of an inch long. It can appear both bronze and golden as well as green, partly through natural variations in its own colouring (often due to age) and partly through changes in the natural light. This shining colouration also gives rise to its other common name, the goldsmith beetle.
They are not an active insect! They love the sunshine and also love to bury themselves into a soft flower blossom and gorge themselves on nectar and will spend most of the day there. When they do take to the air it is a rather laboured flight.
The larvae of the rose chafer are not as destructive as those of its cousin, the cock chafer. They live in ants nests and as we have a number of those in the garden I guess that helps to account for why we see adults from May through until August each year.
Out in the countryside in Dorset you can sometimes find them on wild carrot and also on hogweed but they certainly seem to favour coastal areas rather than more inland locations.