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Noble Chafer

Noble Chafer

Another beautiful but very rare beetle is the noble chafer gnorimus nobilis.

These sun-loving insects have been recorded in the New Forest from late June to July on elderberry and hogweed flowers, mainly in the vicinity of Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst, even at the side of the busy A35.

The grubs (larvae) develop for two to three years in decaying old but still live trees, possibly oak and beech in the Forest, but often in old orchards (apple, cherry, plum) in its limited range elsewhere in England. They typically feed in rotting wood debris in cavities and hollows.

Please look out for these beetles on flowers in gardens, campsites, parks and the like and contact the People’s Trust for Endangered Species if you find one; don’t forget to photograph it first.

Conservation status: RDB2 – Red list, vulnerable.

Beetle noble chafer gnorimus

Photos: Paul D. Brock

ID Tip


15-20 mm long, metallic green, speckled with white, in certain light the body can flash copper, gold and even violet. It could easily be confused with the similar, common, Rose chafer, but the Noble chafer is less smooth and round than the Rose chafer, with a small triangular area between the wing cases (much longer in the Rose chafer).

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of July.'

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