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Rose chafer

Macrodactylus subspinosus (F.)
Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae

Adults are slender, long-legged beetles, fawn-colored with a reddish-brown head and thorax, and undersurface of the body black (A). Larvae are larger, C-shaped grubs that live in the soil and are not found on the trees.


Southeastern Canada and in most fruit-growing states in eastern US.


Attacks all tree fruits, particularly peach and apple. Adults (only) feed on the surface of the fruit and leaves of deciduous fruits (B, C). The fruit may be partly peeled and gouged in irregular shallow patches, or nearly devoured. The leaves are skeletonized (B). Damage is more severe in sandy locations, often occurring especially at orchard edges in proximity to grassy areas.

Similar Species

Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman) adults are metallic green or greenish bronze in color, with reddish wing covers and several white spots near the tip of the abdomen and along the sides. Its larvae are also large, C-shaped grubs. Both Japanese beetle and rose chafer are relatives of green June beetle (Cotinus nitida), with whom Japanese beetle sometimes occurs in the adult stage. The two species can be distinguished by the differences in their size and coloration; also, unlike green June beetle, which can injure both green and ripening fruit, Japanese beetle prefers fruit that is close to ripe.


Feeding damage from adults is sporadic and transient during the summer. If needed, an insecticide can be applied when leaf damage or the insects feeding on foliage are noted in the trees; retreatment may be necessary as new adults arrive.

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