Cockchafers or May Bugs are large, up to 30 mm long, noisy beetles which can often be found buzzing around gardens in the evening in May and June. Adults appear at the end of April or in May and live for about five to seven weeks. After about two weeks, the female begins laying eggs, which she buries about 10 to 20 cm deep in the earth. She may do this several times until she has laid between 60 and 80 eggs.
The Common Cockchafer Melolontha melolontha is widespread and often abundant whereas the Northern Cockchafer Melolontha hippocastani is a Nationally Rare species restricted to Northern England, Scotland and Ireland.
There is a national survey underway at present so please look out for these insects. The pdf Cockchafer (Melolontha) ID explains how to tell the two species apart.
If you have seen a cockchafer, please submit records, preferably with pictures, especially of their ‘bottom’ to iRecord ‐ www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/ .
OR tell us – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – and we will pass on the information. Remember to tell us WHEN and WHERE you saw the Cockchafer .