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Cockchafer by taiche

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*My Images Do Not Belong To The Public Domain. All images are copyright © taiche. All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of any of these images without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited

12.4.2009 Sony Cyberhot
Amphimallon solstitialis
Amphimallon solstitialis, also known as the summer chafer, is a beetle similar to the cockchafer beetle but much smaller, approximately 20 mm in length. They are declining in numbers now, but where found they are often seen in large numbers. They are found throughout the Palearctic region, commonly seen from June to August, living in meadows, hedgerows, and gardens, and eating plants and tree foliage.

The cockchafer (colloquially called may bug, billy witch, or spang beetle, particularly in East Anglia) is a European beetle of the genus Melolontha, in the family Scarabaeidae.

Once abundant throughout Europe and a major pest in the periodical years of “mass flight”, it had been nearly eradicated in the middle of the 20th century through extensive use of pesticides and has even been locally exterminated in many regions. However, since a change in pest control beginning in the 1980s, its numbers have started to grow again. As they don’t tolerate pollution well, their presence is usually a marker of low pollution levels.

Imagines (adults) of the common cockchafer reach sizes of 25–30 mm; the forest cockchafer is a bit smaller (20–25 mm). The two species can best be distinguished by the form of their pygidium (the back end): it is long and slender in the common cockchafer, but shorter and knob-shaped at the end in the forest cockchafer. Both have a brown colour.
Close up of a male cockchafer, showing the seven “leaves” on the antennae. Male cockchafers have seven “leaves” on their antennae, whereas the females have only six.

The species M. pectoralis looks similar, but its pygidium is rounded. The cockchafer should not be confused with the similar European chafer (Rhizotrogus majalis), which has a completely different life cycle, nor with the June beetles (Phyllophaga spp.), which are native to North America, nor with the summer chafer (or “European June bug”, Amphimallon solstitiale), which emerges in June and has a two-year life cycle. (All of these are Scarabaeidae, have white grubs, and are turf pests.)

More Information can be found on the May Bug here
On warm evenings in early summer, you might be startled by a loud clatter
on a lighted window – take a torch and investigate – there is a good chance
it will be a Cockchafer or ‘Maybug’ attracted by the house lights . . . . . .

The speckled appearance is misguiding …unfortunately pine pollen …

Original artwork and photography that will brighten walls that are fifty shades of beige.

You can also find taiche on Redbubble at, Art to Wear, and on Zazzle at Female Contemporary Art, Art to Wear, and Rottweiler Gifts


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  • Lori Peters
    Lori Petersover 5 years ago

    Excellent shot, taiche!!!! Great details and colors. xo

  • Tama Blough
    Tama Bloughover 5 years ago

    No help on the ID but I love his furriness! Cool bug!

  • John Vandeven
    John Vandevenover 5 years ago

    Weird looking fella…Great shot.

  • Michael Matthews
    Michael Matthewsover 5 years ago

    Looks like an extra from a Star Wars movie. Sorry I can’t help but I think it’s fascinating. All these creatures sharing this planet that we have never seen before ! .. amazing.

  • eyestrange
    eyestrangeover 5 years ago

    Over here in the UK we have a very close family member – its a Beetle called the Summer Chafer or Amphimallon solstitialis.
    It as a small antennal club and is hairy just like yours :)

    hope this helps

    Pat :)

  • Michael Matthews
    Michael Matthewsover 5 years ago

    After viewing the Wikipedia pic I think it should be called The Dame Edna Beetle !! .. just kidding.
    What a gem of a creature.

  • Robert Abraham
    Robert Abrahamover 5 years ago

    Hi Taiche,

    Its a European Cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) a large beetle that can often be found in the month of May

  • eyestrange
    eyestrangeover 5 years ago

    Glad you ID’d it taiche :):):)

  • mariarty
    mariartyover 5 years ago

    Ewwww, I would have run a mile, I have never seen anything like this in the UK and I hope I never do. It is a fascinating creature to be sure. Excellent capture and detail.

  • TomBaumker
    TomBaumkerover 5 years ago

    Nice closeup. Never seen anything around here like it. Hugs Tom

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