When leaving work tonight I found this cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) in the road. I have never seen one before but managed to identify it from images I have seen on Twitter. I learn a lot of plants and insects from other peoples Tweets 🙂 I took a quick picture and then tried to move it, only to realise it was not moving at all and never would again. I picked it up off of the floor and brought it home. Normally we get such fleeting glances of insects as they fly by that I thought I would take the opportunity to have a closer look.
Cockchafer are common in the UK and are also know as the May-bug. They typically appear late April to early May and live for around 6 weeks. Eggs are laid around June – July, the grubs then feed on roots and tubers for about 3 years until they are about 4cm. They pupate and emerge as adults in spring. Their numbers decreased in the 20th century due to pesticide use but their numbers have been bouncing back since the 1980’s with the regulations of pesticide.