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Insects and other arthropods

European chafers

Amphimallon majalis

Tabs group


These are stocky brown beetles, about 1.5 cm long, with short, clubbed antennae.

Life cycle

Adults appear in June and July. During the mating period, clouds of these insects can be seen flying in the evening. After mating, the female lays from 20 to 30 eggs, more than 10 cm deep in the soil. They hatch after two to three weeks. The larva moults twice before the end of the summer, to reach a length of about 2 cm. At this stage, it is a large white C-shaped six-legged grub with a brown head.

In the fall, the grub burrows into the soil to spend the winter. It resurfaces in the spring to feed. In late May, it digs back down to a depth of more than 25 cm and pupates. After about seven weeks, the adult emerges and returns to the surface to mate.

Geographic distribution

These beetles, originally from Europe, were introduced accidentally into North America. In Canada, they were observed for the first time in Ontario, in 1959. In Quebec, the first specimen was captured in Rougemont, in 1986. Today the species is established in a number of municipalities in southern Quebec.

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