Home / Scarab Beetles (Scarabaeidae) / European Chafer Beetle (Amphimallon majale)

European Chafer Beetle (Amphimallon majale)

European chafer beetle of the scarab beetle family was a native of Continental Europe, though later it became an invasive species occupying temperate regions of North America.

European Chafer Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Scarabaeidae
  • Genus: Amphimallon
  • Scientific name: Amphimallon majale

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 13 – 14 mm

Color: These medium-sized beetles have areddish-brown or tan body with light yellow setae covering their pronotum and thorax.

Other Characteristic Features: Their abdominal tip protrudes beyond the elytra, which in turn possesses longitudinal grooves.

Amphimallon majale

Larva

They are white with a yellowish-brown head. These C-shaped larvae have small spines arranged in two rows going outwards to the abdominal tip. When full-grown, they are about 20 – 23 mm long, and the entire larval stage goes through three instars.

European Chafer Beetle Larva

Pupa

The grubs go deep down the earth to form cells, where they would remain during the pupal phase that lasts for about two weeks. The pupa grows to about 16 mm.

Egg

The oval-shaped eggs are shiny and milky white that eventually turns to a dull gray upon maturation. The female European Chafer beetle lays approximately 20 to 40 eggs during her lifespan in the moist soil that hatch in about two weeks.

Quick Facts

Adult lifespan1 – 2 weeks
Duration of larval stage1 year (though some could take up to 2 years to complete the larval stage)
DistributionNative: Whole of Europe
Invasive: Different parts of North America including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania
HabitatTemperate grasslands, residential lawns, and gardens
Common PredatorsBirds and toads
Seasons active fromJune – August
Host PlantsTurf and grass
Diet  of larvae and adults Larvae: Roots of grasses
Adults: Mostly grasses
European Chafer Beetle Image

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The larvae feed on the roots of turf and grasses, causing more damage than the adults since they decrease the plant’s longevity to a great extent. The grubs also indirectly damage the plants since they seem to be the food source for raccoons, foxes, and crows who dig right into the ground in search of them.

When these beetle species has infested your lawn, the grasses would appear spongy and even wilted. Cleaning the turfs in your law regularly is one way to prevent them from getting damaged. Setting a beetle trap or even applying the pesticide nematode on the grass are few treatment measures undertaken to control the European chafer beetle numbers.

Did You Know

  • Its discovery in the United States dates back to 1940 in a nursery near New York’s Rochester.
  • The June beetle larvae also feed on the tufts and grasses, like the European chafer grub. They are also C-shaped, like the European chafer larvae. However, they vary in color since they have a cream body and reddish-brown head, against the white body and yellowish-brown head of the European Chafer. 
European Chafer Beetle Picture

Image Source: teleonomix.com, bcinvasives.ca, a4.pbase.com, im3.ezgif.com, richmond.ca

European chafer beetle of the scarab beetle family was a native of Continental Europe, though later it became an invasive species occupying temperate regions of North America.

European Chafer Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 13 – 14 mm

Color: These medium-sized beetles have areddish-brown or tan body with light yellow setae covering their pronotum and thorax.

Other Characteristic Features: Their abdominal tip protrudes beyond the elytra, which in turn possesses longitudinal grooves.

Amphimallon majale

Larva

They are white with a yellowish-brown head. These C-shaped larvae have small spines arranged in two rows going outwards to the abdominal tip. When full-grown, they are about 20 – 23 mm long, and the entire larval stage goes through three instars.

European Chafer Beetle Larva

Pupa

The grubs go deep down the earth to form cells, where they would remain during the pupal phase that lasts for about two weeks. The pupa grows to about 16 mm.

Egg

The oval-shaped eggs are shiny and milky white that eventually turns to a dull gray upon maturation. The female European Chafer beetle lays approximately 20 to 40 eggs during her lifespan in the moist soil that hatch in about two weeks.

Quick Facts

Adult lifespan1 – 2 weeks
Duration of larval stage1 year (though some could take up to 2 years to complete the larval stage)
DistributionNative: Whole of Europe
Invasive: Different parts of North America including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania
HabitatTemperate grasslands, residential lawns, and gardens
Common PredatorsBirds and toads
Seasons active fromJune – August
Host PlantsTurf and grass
Diet  of larvae and adults Larvae: Roots of grasses
Adults: Mostly grasses
European Chafer Beetle Image

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The larvae feed on the roots of turf and grasses, causing more damage than the adults since they decrease the plant’s longevity to a great extent. The grubs also indirectly damage the plants since they seem to be the food source for raccoons, foxes, and crows who dig right into the ground in search of them.

When these beetle species has infested your lawn, the grasses would appear spongy and even wilted. Cleaning the turfs in your law regularly is one way to prevent them from getting damaged. Setting a beetle trap or even applying the pesticide nematode on the grass are few treatment measures undertaken to control the European chafer beetle numbers.

Did You Know

  • Its discovery in the United States dates back to 1940 in a nursery near New York’s Rochester.
  • The June beetle larvae also feed on the tufts and grasses, like the European chafer grub. They are also C-shaped, like the European chafer larvae. However, they vary in color since they have a cream body and reddish-brown head, against the white body and yellowish-brown head of the European Chafer. 
European Chafer Beetle Picture

Image Source: teleonomix.com, bcinvasives.ca, a4.pbase.com, im3.ezgif.com, richmond.ca

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