Cockchafers have a voracious appetite and were considered a major problem for agriculture. The grubs develop in the earth for three to four years, in colder climates even five years, and grow continually to a size of about 4–5 cm, before they pupate in early autumn and develop into an adult cockchafer in six weeks. Greater horseshoe bats can live for up to 30 years due to their large amounts of torpor and low numbers of young (one pup per year).

Cockchafers, also known as Maybugs, have distinctive, fan-shaped antennae. [5] A cockchafer stew is referred to in W. G. Sebald's novel The Emigrants.

They were once very abundant: in 1911, more than 20 million individuals were collected in 18 km2 of forest.

Various species of beetle in the genus Melolontha, Other names include bracken clock, bummler, chovy, cob-worm, dorrs, dumbledarey, humbuz, June bug, kittywitch, billy witch, may-bittle, midsummer dor, mitchamador, oak-wib, rookworm, snartlegog, spang beetle, tom beedel and, "7 things you never knew about the cockchafer", Verfluchte Kreaturen: Lichtenbergs "Proben seltsamen Aberglaubens" und die Logik der Hexen- und Insektenverfolgung im "Malleus Maleficarum",, "Peter Parley's annual: A Christmas and New Year's present for young people",,,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with German-language sources (de), Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 October 2020, at 15:42.

Most bats shout sounds from their mouths but the greater horseshoes unusual-shaped ‘nose-leaf’ allows them to concentrate the sounds really effectively like the foil behind a torch bulb. Like all bats greater horseshoes use a system called echolocation, making high frequency calls as they fly and listen to the returning echoes to build up a sonic map of their surroundings. They work their way to the surface only in spring. The Cockchafer is widespread in Europe as far north as the centre of Sweden. They should never be the only food your bird gets but they can be a good basis for the diet. Adult cockchafers only live for six weeks, using this time to search for a mate. Greater horseshoes feed in two main ways:– Hawking – catching and eating insects in the air during flight.– Perch-hunting – flying out or ambushing from a hedge, catching the prey and returning to the hedge to dismember and eat it (while hanging upside down from a hedgerow tree). All cockchafers who failed to comply were collected and killed.

Crunching through tough insect bodies needs sharp teeth like pins – this also stops the wriggly creepy crawlies escaping while they fly.

The larvae, sometimes called rookworms, live in the soil and eat the roots of vegetables and grasses.

Every two years, the Royal Entomological Society organises the week, supported by a large number of partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects. Cockchafers appear in the fairy tales "Thumbelina" by Hans Christian Andersen and "Princess Rosette" by Madame d'Aulnoy.

Both have a brown colour. Their undersides are covered with fine white hairs. Mostly made up of the hand bones – giving excellent control and dexterity in flight in tight places – try waggling your fingers to see how their wings can move.

There have been four Royal Navy ships named HMS Cockchafer.

These leafy antennae can detect pheromones, enabling males to find females even in the dark!

The adult Cockchafer can be seen (and heard) flying on warm evenings from May to July. Light and tough (feels like a let-down balloon) this is the perfect material for a lightweight flyer – horseshoes also wrap this around them while they sleep like a leathery blanket.

Your mother is in Pomerania Cockchafers tend to live between four to five weeks. Cockchafer larvae can also be fried or cooked over open flames, although they require some preparation by soaking in vinegar in order to purge them of soil in their digestive tracts. A non-profit-making company limited by guarantee. Grubs can spend 3 years underground (up to 5 years in colder climates) until they pupate. It is widely distributed in the UK, wherever there are deciduous trees and shrubs for the adults and nearby meadows, fields or gardens for the larvae. The larvae spend their lives living within the soil, feeding on plant and grass roots. In the pre-industrialized era, the main mechanism to control their numbers was to collect and kill the adult beetles, thereby interrupting the cycle. Combined with the transformation of many pastures into agricultural land, this has resulted in a decrease of the cockchafer to near-extinction in some areas in Europe in the 1970s.

Adults: cockchafer beetles are large and bulky, growing up to 30mm in length. English boys in Victorian times played a very similar game by sticking a pin through one of its wings. However, since pest control was increasingly regulated in the 1980s, its numbers have started to grow again. Credit: Hans Christoph Kappel /, Common names: cockchafer beetle, May bug, common cockchafer, Habitat: parks and gardens, meadows, agricultural fields, Predators: rooks and other birds feed on the larvae.

The Greater Horseshoe Bat is named after its horseshoe shaped nose ‘leaf’, used as part of the bat’s echolocation system.

There are two species of cockchafer found in the UK: the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) which is found in the south of the UK, and the northern cockchafer (Melolontha hippocastani) which is found in northern England, Scotland and Ireland. While greater horseshoes are voracious hunters, they are also food for bigger animals. The cockchafer beetle has a very loud flight. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.

How does a greater horseshoe bat find its way in the dark? Common cockchafer males can easily be distinguished from the females by counting the number of ‘leaves’ on their remarkable antler-like antennae, males sport seven ‘leaves’ while females have only six. The term "chafer" has its root in Old English ceafor or cefer, of Germanic origin and is related to the Dutch kever, all of which mean "gnawer" as it relates to the jaw. In 1320, for instance, cockchafers were brought to court in Avignon and sentenced to withdraw within three days onto a specially designated area, otherwise they would be outlawed. But their biggest enemy is the domestic cat who will take them in their roosts or as they fly low along hedges. Registered in England No.

The cockchafer is sometimes called a ‘doodle-bug’ or May bug, although it is in fact a beetle. Main image: Cockchafers distinctive antennae sit in a distinctive fan-like arrangement. Tendons automatically close the toes so they can hang on even when asleep – the sharp claws make excellent hooks for hanging onto almost any surface. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings.

As such, the name "cockchafer" can be understood to mean "large plant-gnawing beetle" and is applicable to its history as a pest animal. You must have seen a number of cockroaches in your surroundings. In ancient Greece, young boys used to catch the unwitting cockchafer, and tether it by tying a thread around its feet, amusing themselves by watch the poor chap fly aimlessly around in spirals.

The cockchafer is sometimes known as the doodlebug.

This is the point when they pupate, emerging as an adult beetle (or imago) in the spring. When they didn’t leave, apparently no-one thought to translate the court-ruling into … The grubs feed on a wide range of decomposing plant material and also the live the roots and stems of the plants including the grass. ©2020 Royal Entomological Society    Registered charity no.

All cockchafers who failed to comply were collected and killed. You do not have to give your bird pellets.

The cockchafer should not be confused with the similar European chafer (Rhizotrogus majalis), which has a completely different life cycle, nor with the June beetles (Phyllophaga spp. In 1320, the city of Avignon, in southern France, put the Cockchafer on trial and banished them. The grubs (sometimes called rookworms as they are prized by corvids) can devastate cereal crops. The ears are leaf-shaped and have a sharply pointed tip, while the thick fur is coloured ash-grey. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences.

The cockchafer was the basis for the "fifth trick" in the well-known illustrated German book Max and Moritz, dating from 1865.