Unidentified flying objects in Georgia (pine chafer beetles)

We both got quite freaked out last night when pitching our tent: two huge things kept flying at us and wherever we moved they seemed to chase us. We thought they were hornets and knowing they can sting multiple times, we dived into our tent as soon as it was up.

In the morning while packing we found an amazing male Polyphylla fullo beetle, otherwise known as the pine chafer /ˈtʃeɪfə /, sleeping on the tarp covering our bike. It was two of these that had been flying at us, not hornets. When we tried to get it off the tarp it hissed at us defensively.

Didn’t mind posing for a few snaps though. Isn’t it beautiful? We love nature. 🙂

Some interesting facts about pine chafer beetles:

  • Body length up to 4 cms.
  • Found in North Africa and Europe.
  • Males have a large antennal fan.
  • They make a scary hissing sound when feel threatened.
  • Adults eat pine foliage.
  • Larvae feed off the roots of grass and similar plants and take up to 4 years to fully develop.
  • Adults fly around at dusk in June and July. You’ll know they’re near when you hear a very loud buzzing.

Please feel free to add to or question our facts about pine chafer beetles. 🙂

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