Rare species of beetle found in Aylesbury Vale
Archived press release
Date Published: 12/07/12
noble chafer beetle
One of the rarest species of beetle in the country has been found in Aylesbury Vale.
The elusive noble chafer, a green beetle with a metallic sheen, was discovered in an orchard in Edlesborough.
Four adult noble chafers were counted by the Vale Conservation Volunteers, who were carrying out pruning works to trees in the area on behalf of Aylesbury Vale District Council. This is the first time that the adult beetles have been recorded in Buckinghamshire.
AVDC’s biodiversity team is working with the orchard owners to put a long term management plan in place to bring the orchard back to health and hopefully secure the future of the noble chafer in Aylesbury Vale.
Orchards are a very important habitat for this and many other species but due to their low commercial viability they have been widely neglected or destroyed over the last 60 years.
The noble chafer (Gnorimus nobilis) spends much of its life as a grub, living in the rotting wood of ageing fruit trees.
It reaches adulthood in its second summer, and crawls out to breed and feed on flowers such as hogweed, before dying in the early autumn.
The best place to look for the beetle is in traditional orchards with big old trees during July and August. The adult tends to be found high up in the trees, in old pruned wood or woodpecker holes.
Historic records show the noble chafer was once widespread in England, from Cumbria in the north to Devon in the south. But the beetle is now only known to be in a few isolated pockets in the country.
Councillor David Thompson, Cabinet Member for Leisure at AVDC , said: “It is wonderful news to find this beetle and to be able to put in place the right management plan for its survival. The sighting and the management plan it has stimulated is a huge endorsement of the work carried out by the conservation volunteers on behalf of AVDC.”
The AVDC biodiversity team is encouraging orchard owners to manage their orchards for the benefit of this and other species. For advice on orchard management, please call 01296 427972 or email firstname.lastname@example.org