Johannesburg South Africa
March 12, 2012 7:21 am
Hi, love this website, it is so helpful. I have’nt found what I had hoped for though, and that is ID of this bug. I’m posting a front view, rear view (quite a cute looking face too) and a top view. This bug was deeply embedded (yep, that is the word i’ve gotta use) in a yellow flower and which I eventually managed to prize out, took some pics and then set it back where it was originally. This as taken in Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, Roodepoort South Africa. I’d appreciate some help, as the best i’ve got so far is that it is….. Monkey beetle. A distant cousin say what?
Signature: Hi Noel
We are certain that this is a Scarab Beetle, and we are relatively certain that you are correct in it being a Monkey Beetle in the tribe Hopliini. We found a photo in our archives that we posted several years ago of a different species of Monkey Beetle and there is a very nice page on BioDiversity Explorer devoted to Monkey Beetles that states they are: “Distinguished from other Scarabaeidae by the tarsal claws which, especially on the hindlegs, are unequally sized and movable. Larvae are known as white grubs, a term also used for larvae of the subfamily Melolonthinae. They feed on plant litter and plant roots in the soil, and can be serious pests of cultivated crops and lawns. The Hopliini beetles are the most diverse group of rutelines in southern Africa. Adults are often brightly coloured and hairy with large powerful hind legs and usually encountered in flowers.” Finally, we found this photo on FlickR that looks very similar to your individual.