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Rose Chafer (Macrodactylus spp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Rose Chafer

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Rose Chafers love to congregate and chip away at a rose bush's health and beauty, chewing up its blooms and leaves.

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
These small and slender members of the beetle family are a common pest usually associated with roses, but they do eat other types of plants as well. Rose Chafer larvae are equally adept at destroying plant life, including grass. The chubby white grubs attack grass blades from the roots, potentially ruining pristine turf. Adults prefer a menu that includes shrubbery, flowers and the foliage.

The Rose Chafer can be identified by its ivory-yellow appearance. Its elytra (wing coverings) are covered with short, soft hairs. The legs are darker in color than the body, almost brown. Its body is more slender than other Scarab beetles like the equally destructive Japanese Beetle. Other less pesky relatives include May and June Beetles.

One Rose Chafer is usually found in the company of other Rose Chafers. Together they quickly ruin a rose blossom by nibbling away at it and the foliage around it. They are difficult to remove thanks to those strong little legs. They use them to clutch onto the plant, so knocking them off may take some force. Many gardeners use chemical pesticides to prevent and remove Rose Chafers from their plants. Left unchecked, they can ruin a hedge in little time.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Rose-Chafer

grass roots (larvae), plants (larvae), leaves, flowers (including roses), fruits, shrubs
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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Harmful insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Scarabaeidae
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          Genus: Macrodactylus
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            Species: spp.

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Macrodactylus spp.
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 10mm (0.27" to 0.39")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow; red; black; ivory
Descriptors: flying; harmful

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 7mm (0.3in) and 10mm (0.4in)
Lo: 7mm
Md: 8.5mm
Hi: 10mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Rose Chafer may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Rose Chafer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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