The rose chafer is part of a group of beetles (Cetoniini) which all can fly with closed forewings (elytra).  This is possible due to a tiny slit at the sides of the robust greenish shining forewings and a particularly formed forewing articulation.



20 mm (¾ in) long, that has metallic green coloration (but can be bronze, copper, violet, blue/black or grey) with a distinct V shaped scutellum, the small triangular area between the wing cases just below the thorax, and having several other irregular small white lines and marks. The underside is a coppery colour.

The metallic green colouring of the beetle's surface is the reflection of mostly circularly polarised light, typically left circularly polarized light. When viewed through a right circular polariser, they appear to be colourless. Many species of scarab beetles (scarabaeidae) are known to emit typically left circularly polarised light.


The larvae are C–shaped, have a very firm wrinkled hairy body, a very small head and tiny legs; they move on their backs, which is a very quick way to identify them.