Mecynorhina passerinii, the Orange-Spotted Fruit Chafer, is a species of beetles belonging to the family Scarabaeidae, subfamily Cetoniinae.
Orange-Spotted Fruit Chafer is a beautiful and giant Scarab beetle (Scarabaeidae). These beetles have a slight velvety feeling to touch, and they're particularly fond of fermenting fruit and the sap flows of Bridelia micrantha.
Mecynorhina passerinii can reach a length of about 3-5 cm in males, of about 40-55 mm in females. Males show large forward-projecting horns which are utilised during battle for a female mate and resources. Elytra are black or dark brown with orange spots. The coloration of the thoracic shield may be yellowish, brown or black, usually with a broad brown or black central stripe. Hind tibiae and tarsi are orange-brown. These beetles feed on sap of the Bridelia micrantha.
They do a great deal of good for the ecosystem- as larvae, they tend to eat decaying wood and leaves, helping to increase the rate of soil formation. These are rare garden residents, residing in moist forest habitats. The grubs (larvae) spend their entire lives below ground, developing in the soil.
This diurnal species can be found in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.
The benefits this beetle provides the wider ecosystem outweigh any negatives. These beetles may take a few bites from flowers but at the same time provide decomposition and pollination services too. They're also a primary food resource for other insects, birds, rodents and reptiles.