Flower Chafer from South Africa: Dicranorrhina derbyana

green shiny beetle 30mm +
December 30, 2009
26 December, 17:37h (Height of Summer)
Found on our drive this beetle, ca 30 mm+ long.
Placed it on lawn, but it kept disappearing under grass.
Then – because bricks were very hot – put it on a leaf . It kept running away with incredible speed…
Please identify.
South Africa, Limpopo, Hoedspruit

Dicranorrhina derbyana
Dicranorrhina derbyana

Dear Ingrid,
We didn’t have much luck locating your beetle on the Beetles of Africa website despite believing it to be in the subfamily Cetoniinae known as the Fruit and Flower Chafers, but we did find a matching image in an Ultimate Beetle Collection for sale.  We decided to leaf through the Living Jewels by Poul Beckmann coffee table book our dear friend Monika Bielser from Basel, Switzerland bought us several years ago, and we found a near match in Dicranorrhina derbyana, one of the names mentioned in the list of beetles included in the Ultimate Beetle Collection image.  Doing a web search of that name turned up some near matches on Wikimedia Commons including a nice closeup of a collection and on InsectGeeks.com, but the white markings on the elytra of your specimen are not quite as developed as the images we found either in the book or online, so we can conclude this is either a different species in the genus Dicranorrhina, a subspecies of Dicranorrhina derbyana, or a color variation of the same species.  Also since your specimen is lacking the developed horns, we believe it to be a female.

Dear Daniel
I thank you very much for your swift response and help concerning ID; especially at this time of the year, when your family will want your attention and time!
I wish you all the best for 2010
Greetings from a hot South Africa,
Ingrid Shaul

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