Cheirolasia burkei
Range:  southwestern Africa
Size:  28 - 32 mm

Cheirolasia burkei is a small cetoniine from southwestern Africa.  It is brilliantly coloured with a striking pattern of yellow-green spots on a shiny black background.  The adults, like most other members of the cetoniine subfamily, are attracted to very ripe fruit and flows of tree sap.  The larvae live in accumulations of composting plant material such as decaying wood and leaves.  Pupation takes longer (several months) to complete in this species than with other types of small cetoniines.


C. burkei is one of a huge assemblage of cetoniine scarabs native to Africa.  The continent's large expanses of tropical forests and grasslands have allowed for the evolution of a diverse array of these beetles, and Africa is one of the best regions of the planet to observe this subfamily of the Scarabaeidae.  Many of these species adapt well to life indoors, and can be easily reared for many generations on compost formed from decaying plant materials.

Photo courtesy of Roman Kocina.

Cheirolasia burkei - Image  Roman Kocina

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