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Nature lovers enjoy colorful butterflies, busy bees and fat bumblebees in the garden. If you look closely, you will discover a few green, shiny metallic beetles among the flower visitors. What species could that be?

In a nutshell

  • Green shiny beetles, which occur in central European regions, often belong to the families of leaf beetles, scarab beetles, jewel beetles or carabid beetles.
  • All species of ground beetle native to Central Europe are protected. They feed on snails, worms and harmful insects.
  • Leaf beetles feed on leaves and can damage trees and plants.

A selection of shiny green beetles

Types from A - G

Ore colored sewer beetle (Amara aenea)

A small glossy green beetle that prefers dry areas and grasslands is the ore-colored sewer beetle. It belongs to the ground beetle family. It can often be observed on sunny days.

Source: By ©entomartIn case of publication or commercial use, Entomart wishes then to be warned (, but this without obligation. Thank you., Attribution,
  • Size: 6.5 to 8.5 millimeters
  • Appearance: Elongated, oval, green, shiny elytra with longitudinal furrows, first three antennal segments reddish or yellow
  • Occurrence: live in burrows, sit on ears of grain
  • Protected: yes
  • Food: small insects, parts of plants, cereal grains
  • Trait: The Ore Sewer Bug is active when the sun is shining. When danger threatens, he hides under stones or in leaves in a flash.

Common rose chafer (Cetonia aurata)

The impressive rose chafer can be observed quite often in natural gardens. The grubs, the larvae of the shiny beetle, are discovered while turning the compost. The beautiful, protected beetle hardly causes any damage. Enjoy the magnificent insect.

common rose chafer, Cetonia aurata
  • Size: 15 to 20 millimeters
  • Appearance: Green body with a metallic sheen, white stripes on the wings, copper-red underside
  • Occurrence: in bushes and on flowers
  • Protected: yes
  • Food: Petals of flowers, preferably dog rose flowers
  • Characteristics: deep humming sound, flies with closed elytra

By the way, the grubs of the rose chafer are not to be confused with those of the may beetle. They do not eat plant roots.

Gold Shiny Ground Beetle (Carabus auronitens)

There is a high risk of confusing the golden ground beetle with the gold ground beetle. You can recognize it by the black ribs on the elytra.

Source: NobbiP, Carabus auronitens 2036, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Size: 18 to 34 millimeters
  • Appearance: Glossy body, green elytra with golden shimmer and black grooves, head and pronotum red gold
  • Occurrence: May to September, in moist deciduous and mixed forests
  • Protected: yes
  • Food: snails, worms, insects
  • Characteristic: The golden ground beetle climbs trees up to six meters high in search of food.

Gold ground beetle (Carabus auratus)

The impressive beetle leaves its winter quarters in the ground in early spring. His golden shiny body has earned him the name goldsmith.

Source: gbohne from Berlin, Germany, The Golden ground beetle eating a slug on a countryside road (5116458380), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Size: 20 to 27 millimeters Appearance: shiny green body, clearly grooved elytra, first four antennal segments red
  • Occurrence: April to August, in fields and gardens, prefers clay soil
  • Protected: yes
  • Food: snails, worms, insects, larvae, also carrion and fungi
  • Characteristics: Ground beetle can live up to two years. Their prey can significantly exceed their body length.

Great pupa robber (Calosoma sycophanta)

The large pupal predator is an important beneficial. The beetle feeds on the caterpillars of harmful butterflies, such as the nun and the oak processionary moth. A pupa can consume up to 400 caterpillars in the course of its life.

Source: Thomas Huntke, Germany (the uploader). Contact through:, Calosoma sycophanta+Sardinien-2009-Thomas Huntke, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Size: 17 to 28 millimeters
  • Appearance: broad pronotum, longitudinally grooved elytra, blue-green, metallic green shiny body
  • Occurrence: on deciduous trees
  • Protected: yes
  • Food: Caterpillars and larvae of harmful butterflies and sawflies
  • Characteristic: pupa robbers are used to control the oak processionary moth.

Types of H - M

ground beetle (Carabus nitens)

The ground beetle is the smallest of the ground beetle family (Carabus). Like its peers, it feeds on small animals and insects.

Source: Udo Schmidt from Germany, Carabus nitens Linné, 1758 (2971072209), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Size: 13 to 18 millimeters
  • Appearance: Body, pronotum and elytra metallic golden green with red sides, black antennae
  • Occurrence: April to October, on dry areas Protected: yes
  • Food: insects, larvae
  • Characteristics: The ground beetle can be distinguished from the golden ground beetle and the golden ground beetle by the completely black coloring of the antennae.

St. John's wort leaf beetle (Chrysolina hyperici)

The St. John's wort leaf beetle feels at home on blooming St. John's wort. Its shiny body is striking. He prefers dry regions.

Source: Ryan Hodnett, St. Johnswort Beetle (Chrysolina hyperici) - Missisauga, Ontario 2014-07-18, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Size: 5 to 7 millimeters
  • Appearance: roundish, green, blue or brown shiny body with bronze shimmer, dotted on top
  • Occurrence: May to September, in dry biotopes
  • Protected: no
  • Food: leaves and flowers of St. John's wort
  • Feature: heat-loving

Mint leaf beetle (Chrysolina herbacea)

Shiny mint leaf beetles are a common sight on mint plants in the garden from May to September.

Source: pjt56, Chrysolina herbacea-pjt2, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Size: 7 to 11 millimeters
  • Appearance: green-gold or green shiny body, densely dotted elytra, green underside
  • Occurrence: in summer on all types of mint
  • Protected: no
  • Food: mint leaves
  • Feature: The mint leaf beetle reproduces rapidly.

Musk beetle (Aromia moschata)

The musk beetle is an impressive example of a native, shiny green beetle. It secretes scents with a musky smell through the glands on the rear breast.

  • Size: 13 to 34 millimeters
  • Appearance: Glossy body with wings green, bronze or copper, pronotum black
  • Occurrence: from June to August in gardens and parks, preferably on large umbels of elderberry bushes and willows
  • Protected: yes
  • Food: pollen and plant juices
  • Characteristics: The larvae of the musk beetle take up to three years to develop. They develop in willows and poplars. The death of pollarded willows has led to a decline in beetles.

Notice: The scent secreted by the musk buck via the glands on the back of the breast was used in the past to perfume pipe tobacco.

Müller's plaster runner (Agonum muelleri)

If you come across a small, dark, shiny green ground beetle in the garden, it could be Müller's cleaning runner.

Source: Donald Hobern from Copenhagen, Denmark, Agonum muelleri (19453348838), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0
  • Size: 6.5 to 9 millimeters
  • Appearance: shiny green, very finely ribbed elytra, black-brown antennae, first antennae element clearly lighter
  • Occurrence: in hedges, on meadows and pastures, frequent occurrence Protected: yes
  • Food: aphids, caterpillars, small insects
  • Feature: The nocturnal ground beetle can often be observed. He hibernates under stones.

By the way, when there is danger, ground beetles emit an unpleasant smell. This is to drive away enemies.

Types of O - Z

Oval-eyed leaf beetle (Chrysolina fastuosa)

The oval-eyed leaf beetle is quite small, but clearly visible due to its shiny metallic colour. It owes its name to the striking oval shape of its eyes.

Source: Aiwok, Chrysolina fastuosa 1, edited from Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Size: 4 to 6 millimeters
  • Appearance: green with golden tinges, blue median stripes, orange-yellow antennae, oval eyes
  • Occurrence: April to September in bushes, on meadows, at the edges of forests
  • Protected: no
  • Food: Leaves of lamiaceae, preferably deadnettle species
  • Characteristics: The oval-eyed leaf beetles are very sluggish, they rarely fly.

Silky case beetle (Cryptocephalus sericeus)

Fall beetles are a subspecies of leaf beetles. The silky case beetle can often be seen on dandelions in our latitudes.

Source: Francisco Welter-Schultes, Cryptocephalus-sericeus-04-fws, edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0
  • Size: 6.5 to 8 millimeters
  • Appearance: greenish, metallic luster, head bent downwards
  • Occurrence: May to June in meadows, at the edges of forests on yellow-flowering plants
  • Protected: no
  • Food: Plant parts of dandelion and hawkweed
  • Feature: In case of danger, the case beetles drop to the ground in a flash and crawl away.

Silky reed beetle (Plateumaris sericea)

Anyone walking along the edges of water can see the silky reed beetle in early summer.

Source: S. Rae from Scotland, UK, Plateumaris sericea - Flickr - S. Rae (1), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0
  • Size: 7 to 10 millimeters
  • Appearance: very shiny body, green to blue, golden yellow hairs on the underside
  • Occurrence: April to July on pond plants, preferably on sedge and rush species
  • Protected: no
  • Food: aquatic and marsh plants, water iris
  • Trait: Larvae of the silky reed beetle develop in stagnant water. Garden ponds are also populated.

Hungarian jewel beetle (Anthaxia hungarica)

Hungarian jewel beetles are considered to be the largest Central European jewel beetle species. The magical insects can already be observed in April.

Source: Siga, Anthaxia hungarica male side, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Size: 7 to 15 millimeters
  • Appearance: Males uniformly green with dark longitudinal stripes on the pronotum, females with blue-green elytra, brass-colored head and underside, elongated, cylindrical body
  • Occurrence: April to July, very rarely found in dry areas on yellow-flowered daisy family and buttercups
  • Protected: yes
  • Food: Leaves, plant parts
  • Characteristics: Female and male Hungarian jewel beetles differ significantly.

Two-spotted oak jewel beetle (Agrilus biguttatus)

Two white spots near the elytra seam are responsible for the name. Oak jewel beetles live in oak trees. They are able to multiply explosively.

Source: Ben Sale from Stevenage, UK, Oak Jewel Beetle (Agrilus biguttatus) (46897159602), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0
  • Size: 9 to 10 millimeters
  • Appearance: green-copper-colored, body with a metallic sheen, wing covers with a bluish shimmer
  • Occurrence: in oak forests
  • Protected: no
  • Food: Leaves, plant parts
  • Characteristic: The hot, dry summers of recent years have led to an increase in the jewel beetle population. An infestation with two-spotted oak jewel beetles can lead to the death of trees.

frequently asked Questions

Are ground beetles dangerous?

The sometimes quite large ground beetles can scare anxious people. But don't worry, ground beetles don't bite or sting humans. Only snails, caterpillars, worms and other small insects are on their menu.

How can hobby gardeners encourage the colonization of useful beetles?

Those who do without chemical pesticides in their garden and create a habitat for bees, bumblebees and the like can soon look forward to the colonization of beneficial insects. Do not mow the lawn completely. Leave small piles of brushwood in the garden in winter and create welcome wintering opportunities for small animals and insects.

Are roses damaged by the rose beetle?

The roses are affected by scale insects, aphids and spider mites. The rose beetle does very little damage. If you see a rose chafer on a rose in your garden, carefully remove it from the plant and simply relocate it. Destroying the dazzling bugs is forbidden.

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