Name that Larva

A quiz themed round of the Blog today.

Spring is upon us, we’re having some fantastic weather here in France and I’ve been out in the garden preparing. One of my jobs has been to clear out the dead geraniums from the window boxes, killed off by the cold weather over the winter.

On clearing out the boxes I found several of these buried in the soil. Name that Larva! A picture is provided below including the obligatory 1Euro coin for scale.

Apart from correctly guessing it was a larva I was stuck. I thought beetle but no idea which.

So I took the option of phoning a friend, and for nature questions the friend is always Mr Baugh, a very knowledgeable man indeed.

And the answer, is that it is, very probably, the larva of the insect below.

The Rose Chafer. A very distinctive metallic green beetle. They are common and widespread in Europe and you may well have seen or heard one in your garden as they are quite noisy flying insects.

They feed on pollen and nectar so they love garden environments and as the name suggests they are particularly fond of eating roses. So during the Summer months, when they are out and about, it is a good place to start looking for them.

They lay their eggs in the soil, and apparently it is fairly common that they use window boxes for this. Once they emerge from the eggs the larvae can be active for several years before finally pupating into beetles. It seems amazing to me that a larva can last that long with all the predators that would surely like to eat it. So as not to give them any more problems than they already have I put the larvae back in the soil and wished them all luck.

So be careful if you are emptying out old garden tubs or planting boxes and if you do find any Rose Chafer Larvae be sure to put them back carefully.

It’s all nature and we need it all.

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