Amphimallon solstitialis L Summer chafer

Larvae of this polyphagous, southerly distributed species often attack beet, cereals, grasses, potato and various horticultural plants. They sever the roots or bore into tubers or tap roots and, particularly in their second summer, are capable of causing considerable damage. Attacks are most likely to occur where crops are planted in recently ploughed-up grassland.

Fig. 201 Beet carrion beetle, Aclypea opaca (x6).
Fig. 202 Larva of beet carrion beetle. Aclypea opaca (x5).


Adults occur in June and July, and are particularly active on warm evenings. The eggs, which are laid in the soil, hatch after several weeks. The

Fig. 203 Anal segments of chafer grubs: (a) Amphimallon solstitialis; (b) Hoplia philanthus; (c) Melolontha melolontha; (d) Phyllopertha hordeola; (e) Serica brunnea.

larvae feed briefly during the autumn and then hibernate; they recommence feeding in the spring and usually become fully grown by the autumn. Larvae again overwinter and eventually pupate in the spring. If conditions are unfavourable, development may extend over a further year.


Adult 14-18 mm long, yellowish-brown and hairy; pronotum shiny; elytra dull and partly ribbed longitudinally. Larva up to 30 mm long; body mainly white; head yellowish-brown; legs pale yellowish-brown; anal segment partly translucent, with two posteriorly diverging rows of spines above the anal slit (Fig. 203a).

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