The name Chafer is given to a number of
beetles, all of which have distinctive fan-like antennae, they emerge
from the soil and flu in May or early June, often tapping on lighted
windows of house at night when they fly into them.
The most familiar is the Cockchafer (pictured above)
which is otherwise known as the May Bug, because it is about in May.
The number of calls that pest controllers get complaining that people
have cockroaches are numerous and it is only when they get on site they
find that the journey has been for nothing, because the offending creature
is a May bug.
The larvae are large white grubs, sometimes called Rookworms,
with greatly swollen abdomens, and brownish heads bearing formidable
They usually live in pasture soils, feeding voraciously
on the roots of the grass, sometimes they remove so many roots that
the grass can be rolled up like a carpet. Regular ploughing to eliminate
the grubs is necessary if the field is turned over to corn, otherwise
the grubs will certainly damage the crop.
Below is a picture of a May Bug in flight showing how
the elytra are folded out of the way of the hind wings. This applies
to all of the beetles which can fly.
Back to main
Ground Beetle page
Back to main
Casual Intruders page