Subject: Speckled Italian Beetle
Location: Florence, Italy
June 27, 2014 3:13 pm
My boyfriend and I were on vacation in Florence, Italy when this bug on the sidewalk caught our eye. It didn’t seem appropriate to the environment (mostly just flies and mosquitos from what we could tell), and we’re wondering if perhaps someone’s pet escaped? It’s winged and scarab-like as you can see. Thanks for any help identifying this bug!
Signature: amico de Scarafaggio
You are astute to observe that this beetle is a Scarab, and it is also a native species. We discovered its identity as a Pine Chafer, Polyphylla fullo , thanks to the Beetle Fauna of Germany site where it states: “It is known to occur in North Africa and Europe, in North to South Sweden, in the East to the Caucasus. The male exhibits a conspicuous enlarged antennal fan. The larval development in the soil on the roots of grasses and sedges takes 3 to 4 years. The adult beetles live in sandy habitats, e.g. sunny pine forests and dunes. They feed on pine foliage but do not cause economically relevant damage. In June and July the beetles swarm at dusk. With the exception of the Northeast, recent records are known from most Federal States. Polyphyllo fullo is regarded as endangered (RL 2) and is protected by the Federal Regulation for the Protection of Species (BArtSchV). ” It is also pictured on NatureSpot where it states it is found: “In and around pine woods especially on sandy soil but usually only encountered as a vagrant in Britain.” It is also capable of stridulation, the ability to rub its body parts together to make a relatively loud sound.