Rose chafer

Rose chafer

Macrodactylus subspinosus (F.)

Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae


The rose chafer is a light tan beetle with a darker brown head and long legs. It is about 12 mm long. There is one generation per year. Adults emerge from the ground during late May or June, near grape bloom time, and live for 3 to 4 weeks. Females lay groups of eggs just below the surface in grassy areas of sandy, well-drained soils. The larvae (grubs) spend the winter underground, move up in the soil to feed on grass roots and then pupate in the spring. A few weeks later, they emerge from the soil and disperse by flight. Male beetles are attracted to females and congregate on plants to mate and feed.

  • Damage

    Attacks all tree fruits, particularly peach and apple. Adults (only) feed on the surface of the fruit and leaves of deciduous fruits (B, C). The fruit may be partly peeled and gouged in irregular shallow patches, or nearly devoured. The leaves are skeletonized (B). Damage is more severe in sandy locations, often occurring especially at orchard edges in proximity to grassy areas.

    Management

    Feeding damage from adults is sporadic and transient during the summer. If needed, an insecticide can be applied when leaf damage or the insects feeding on foliage are noted in the trees; retreatment may be necessary as new adults arrive.

    Crops Affected

    • Apples
    • Cherries
    • Grapes
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Plums
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