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Coleoptera; Scarabeidae; Cetoniinae; Protaetia sp. My wife was complaining over the last two or three days that her Eggplants (Solanum melongena) were by decimated by some unseen creature. We searched under almost every leaf with no result, until a couple of hours ago. I was in the back terrace when I heard her call out "There it is!" The "Darth Vader of Galactic Eggplants" turned out to be the beetle in the above photos. At first I thought it was a Mango Flower Beetle (Protaetia fusca), but it does not have such a pronounced "ridge" at the posterior end of the elytra and the brown colour seems to be much too light. Also the little yellow/white flecks on the elytra are less complicated. It is obviously not fusca, but something else. I suspect that it is Protaetia pseudoheyderi as shown in https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/17.... That spotting was well supported (at the time it was published) by the two internet references which it cited. Unfortunately, both websites now appear to be defunct. I wanted to call my specimen Protaetia sp. nr. pseudoheyderi, but since the references for pseudoheyderi have evaporated, I don't think that would acceptable. I will do some more digging and revise this spotting when I can.
I think I have pretty much given away the habitat in my description, but just to be sure, this beetle was spotted in our vegetable plot, systematically destroying Eggplants. My wife was so upset by the amount of destruction that I knew I was going to be asked to kill it. So while taking my photos, I made sure that I disturbed it enough to cause it to fly off to pastures anew. Of course I will tell my wife this evening, by which time she will have recovered her calm. I know she will forgive me.
Spotted on Jul 14, 2022
Submitted on Jul 14, 2022
To: Francis Floe
Good morning, Francis. Thank you for your comment. It is nice to hear from you again. The specimen shown here is the only one I have ever seen. So I don't know if that means there are not many in this area or I have just not been lucky enough to spot them. I hope you get a chance to see one in your area. John B.
Nice spotting and description John B. I also saw the same beetle a while ago. This beetle is special to me because it's the first insect that made me especially interested in entomology. It's a very rare occasion for me seeing one. Thanks for sharing! Now I have an idea what species it was.