Common Cockchafer - Melolontha melolontha

Alternative names

This large beetle has ribbed wing cases (elytra) that are reddish-brown in colour, and the head and the pronotum are blackish and covered in short hairs. The fan-like antennae are longer in males than females.

Identification difficulty

Frequents hedgerows and gardens. It is attracted to light, and often crashes into lighted windows at night during early summer.

When to see it

May and June are the peak period for adults.

Life History

The larvae are fat white grubs (often called Rook worms) that typically have a curved body shape and live in the soil. They can grow up to 40 to 46 mm in length.

UK Status

Quite common in southern Britain at least.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland and often drawn to MV light traps. There were a total of 128 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map