Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


(white grubs)



Phyllophaga (white grubs)


  • Last modified
  • 29 March 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Phyllophaga
  • Preferred Common Name
  • white grubs
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
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Stand loss in sorghum field due to 'white grub' infestation (P. crinita).
TitleCrop damage caused by P. crinita
CaptionStand loss in sorghum field due to 'white grub' infestation (P. crinita).
Stand loss in sorghum field due to 'white grub' infestation (P. crinita).
Crop damage caused by P. crinitaStand loss in sorghum field due to 'white grub' infestation (P. crinita). ICRISAT


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Phyllophaga Harris, 1826

Preferred Common Name

  • white grubs

Other Scientific Names

  • Ancylonycha Dejean, 1833
  • Anomalochela Moser, 1913
  • Cnemarachis Saylor, 1942
  • Enarioidea Fairmaire, 1903
  • Endrosa Le Conte, 1856
  • Eugastra Le Conte, 1856
  • Gynnis Le Conte, 1856
  • Hippotrichia Arrow, 1948
  • Holotrichia Hope, 1837
  • Hoplochelus Blanchard, 1850
  • Lachnosterna Hope, 1837
  • Miridiba Reitter, 1902
  • Neodontocnema Arrow, 1948
  • Neolepidiota Blackburn, 1890
  • Stenothorax Harris, 1826
  • Triodonyx Saylor, 1942

International Common Names

  • English: chafer beetle; June beetle; root grubs
  • Spanish: gallina cieja; jaboto

EPPO code

  • PHYGSP (Phyllophaga sp.)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Scarabaeidae
  •                             Genus: Phyllophaga

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


BangladeshPresentBaksha, 1990
ChinaPresentGuo and Wen, 1988
IndiaPresentSharma, 1989
IndonesiaPresentIntari and Natawiria, 1973
JapanPresentYoshioka & Yamasaki, 1983
Korea, DPRWidespreadKim et al., 1986
Korea, Republic ofPresentKim et al., 1986
PhilippinesPresentApsotol & Litsinger, 1976
Sri LankaRestricted distributionFernando, 1971


South AfricaPresentCarnegie, 1988
SudanPresentPollard, 1956

North America

CanadaPresentSutton and Stone, 1974
MexicoPresentRodriguez del Bosque et al., 1995; Morón, 2003

Central America and Caribbean

CaribbeanPresentSantoro, 1960; Gruner, 1975
Costa RicaPresentKing, 1984; Rodri et al., 1993
CubaPresentSmith and Paulsen, 2015
El SalvadorPresentMorón, 1988
GuatemalaPresentMorón, 2003
HondurasPresentTrabanino et al., 1989; Vásquez, 2003
NicaraguaPresentArguello et al., 1999a; Arguello et al., 1999b
PanamaPresentMorón, 2003

South America

EcuadorPresentMorón, 2003


AustraliaPresentWilson, 1969
New ZealandPresentFarrell and Wightman, 1972

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / external feeding
Inflorescence / external feeding
Leaves / external feeding
Roots / external feeding

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Bacillus thuringiensis Pathogen Larvae
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen Larvae
Beauveria brongniartii Pathogen Adults/Eggs/Larvae/Pupae
Caloglyphus Parasite Adults
Carabidae Predator Eggs/Larvae
Fusarium oxysporum Pathogen Larvae
Heterorhabditis Parasite Larvae
Heterorhabditis indicus Parasite Larvae
Lecanicillium lecanii Pathogen
Metarhizium anisopliae Pathogen
Oecophylla smaragdina Predator Adults
Paecilomyces farinosus Pathogen Larvae
Paenibacillus popilliae Pathogen Larvae
Steinernema carpocapsae Parasite Larvae
Steinernema glaseri Parasite Larvae


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Apostol RF; Litsinger JA, 1976. Low insecticide dosage for control of white grub, Leucopholis irrorata, in an upland rice-corn cropping pattern. Paper presented at the Seventh national Conference of the pest Control council of the Phillipines, Cagayan de oro, 5-7 May, 1976.

Arguello H; Caceres O; Monzon A, 1999. Species of white grubs (Phyllophaga spp.) present in the north-central part of Nicaragua. (Especies de gallina ciega (Phyllophaga spp.) presentes en la parte norcentral de Nicaragua.) Revista Nicaragüense de Entomología, No. 47:27-40.

Arguello H; Caceres O; Monzon A, 1999. Testing of home-made light traps for monitoring adults of white grubs (Phyllophaga spp.) in Esteli, Nicaragua. (Validacion de trampas de luz artesanal para controlar adultos de gallina ciega (Phyllophaga spp.) en esteli, Nicaragua.) Revista Nicaragüense de Entomología, No. 48:1-13.

Arrow GJ, 1919. Systematic notes on a few melolonthine Coleoptera. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (9)4:21-29.

Arrow GJ, 1944. Systematic notes on melolonthine beetles belonging to Holotrichia and related genera. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (11)11:631-648.

Arrow GJ, 1948. Further notes on the beetle genus Lachnosterna (Coleoptra; Melolonthinae) with description of three new genera. Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society, London, (B)17:49-54.

Baksha MW, 1990. Some major forest insect pests of Bangladesh and their control. Bulletin - Forest Entomology Series, Forest Research Institute (Chittagong), No. 1:19 pp.; 11 ref.

Bentley J, 2007. White grubs. (La gallina ciega.) Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers, No. 7. Wallingford, UK: CABI, 1 pp.

Bhatacharjee NS; Bhatia HP, 1981. Infestation of white grub, Holotrichia consanguinea Blanchard (Scarabaeidae: Coleoptera) on soyabean. Pesticides, 15(11):35-36

Blanchard CE, 1845. Historie des Insects. 2 vols. Paris, France.

Burmeister E, 1855. Handbanch der Entomologie, Vol IV, Part II, Berlin. In: Carnegie AJM, ed. 1974. Sugar cane white grub (Scarabaeoidea) and their contol in south Africa, in Proceedings of the 15th International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Golden Jubilee Congress, Durban, South Africa.

Carnegie AJM, 1988. White grubs (Scarabpoidea) continue to cause sporadic damage to sugarcane in South Africa and Swaziland. Proceedings of the Sixty-second Annual Congress of the South African Sugar Technologists' Association, held at Durban and Mount Edgecombe, 6 to 9 June, 1988. Mount Edgecombe, South Africa: South African Sugar Technologists' Association, 161-163

Chen ZA; Xie PH; Huang JR; Pan LC; Feng HY; Zhang YZ, 1995. Infectivity of Metarhizium anisopliae against the mulberry brown chafer Holotrichia parallela. Chinese Journal of Biological Control, 11(2):54-55

Crocker RL; Marshall D; Kubica-Breier JS, 1990. Oats, wheat, and barley resistance to white grubs of Phyllophaga congrua (Coleoptera: Scarabpidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 83(4):1558-1562

Dalla Torre RA, 1912. Coleopterorum catalogus. Vol. 20, Part 45, 47, 49, 50 Berlin, Germany: W. Junk.

David H; Ananthanarayana K; Alexander KC; Ethirajan AS, 1967. Integrated control of white grubs, Holotrichia serrata F. on sugar cane. Madras Agricultural Journal, 63:637-41.

Deng DA; Wang GQ; Li J, 1985. Bionomics of predacious carabids in Heilongjiang. Acta Entomologica Sinica, 28(3):281-287

Duran ML, 1952. Aspectos ecologicos de la biologia de sanjuun verde Hylamorpha elegans (Burm.) y mencion de las demas especies de escarabeidos perjudiciales en cautin. Agricultural Tecnica (Chile), 12:24-36.

Farrell JAK; Wightman JA, 1972. Observations on flight and feeding activity of adult Costelytra zealandica (White) (Col. Scarabaeidae) in Nelson Province. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 15(4):893-903

Fernando EFW, 1971. The larval stages of chafer beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) occurring on tea plantations in Ceylon. Spolia Zeylanica, 32(1):91-96.

Frey G, 1971. Bestimmungstablie der Indischen ceylonesischen Arten der Gattung, Holotrichia Hope (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae). Ent. Arh. Mus Gorg Frey, 22:220-225.

Gaylor MJ; Frankie GW, 1979. The relationship of rainfall to adult flight activity; and of soil moisture to oviposition behavior and egg and first instar survival in Phyllophaga crinita. Environmental Entomology, 8(4):591-594

Gemminger B; Harold E, 1869. Catalogus colepterororum, Vol 8, Parts 4-6. Munich, Germany.

Gruner L, 1975. Sequential sampling of populations of white grubs of Phyllophaga patrueloides Paulian (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and forecasting damage in fields of sugar-cane in Guadeloupe. Annales de Zoologie, Ecologie Animale, 7(4):505-524

Gryisco GG; Whitecomb WH; Burrage RH; Logothetis C; Schwardt HH, 1954. Biology of the European chafer Amphimallon majalis Razoumowsky (Scarabaeidae). Memoirs Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 228:1-35.

Guo PL; Wen YZ, 1988. Investigation on scarab species in nursery and their distribution. Insect Knowledge, 25(4):221-222

Hope FW, 1837. The Coleopterist's Manual, containing the lamellicorn insects of Linneus and Fabricius. London, UK: Bohn.

Ingram WR; Irving NS; Roome RE, 1973. A hand book on the control of agricultural pests in Botswana. A hand book on the control of agricultural pests in Botswana. Gaborone, Government Printer. Botswana, 129 pp.

Intari SE; Natawiria D, 1973. White grubs in forest tree nurseries and young plantations. Laporan, Lembaga Penelitian Hutan, No. 167, pp. 22.

Jepson WF, 1956. The biology and control of the sugar-cane chafer beetles in Tanganyika. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 47:377-397.

Kalinina OI, 1990. Clarification of the systematics of scarabaeid beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) on the basis of data on the structure of the larvae and pupae. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie, 69(1):79-83

Khan KM; Ghai S, 1982. Taxonomic status of the genus Holotrichia Hope (Melolonthini: Melolonthinp: Scarabpidae) with descriptions of five new species from India along with redescriptions of two poorly described species and a key to species. Bulletin of Entomology, 23(1/2):28-45

Kim KH; Kim SS; Hyun JS, 1986. External morphology and species components of the white grubs collected from ginseng field and its neighbouring fallows. Korean Journal of Plant Protection, 24(4):179-182

Kim KW, 1991. Effects of soil moisture on survival of large black chafer (Holotrichia morosa Waterhouse) eggs and larvae. Korean Journal of Applied Entomology, 30(1):37-41; 18 ref.

Kim KW; Hyun JS, 1988. Seasonal changes in vertical distribution of larger black chafer (Holotrichia morosa Waterhouse) and Korean black chafer (H. diomphalia Bates) in soil. Korean Journal of Applied Entomology, 27(4):194-199

Kim SH; Lee MH; Kim JH; Kim MS, 1990. Species and seasonal fluctuation of chafers in pasture. Research Reports of the Rural Development Administration, Crop Protection, 32(1):64-69; 26 ref.

King ABS, 1984. Biology and identification of white grubs (Phyllophaga) of economic importance in Central America. Tropical Pest Management, 30(1):36-50

Lacordaire MT, 1856. Historie naturelle des Insects, Genera des Coleopteres, III (Plectinocornes et Lamellicornes). Libraire Encyclopedique de Roret, Rue Haulefenille, 12.

Leal WS; Sawada M; Matsuyama S; Kuwahara Y; Hasegawa M, 1993. Unusual periodicity of sex pheromone production in the larvae black chafer Holotrichia parallela.. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 19(7):1381-1391

Misra SS; Chandla VK, 1989. White grubs infesting potatoes and their management. Journal Indian Potato Association, 16(1/2):29-33.

Morón MA, 1988. Notes on Phyllophaga (II). A new species of P. (Chlaenobia) (Coleoptera; Melolonthidae) in El Salvador, C. A. (Notas sobre Phyllophaga (II). una nueva especie de P. (Chlaenobia) (Coleoptera; Melolonthidae) en El Salvador, C. A.) Folia Entomológica Mexicana, No. 75:55-61.

Morón MA, 2003. Revision of the Phyllophaga s.s. schizorhina species group (Coleoptera: Melolonthidae: Melolonthinae). Canadian Entomologist, 135(2):213-302.

Moutia LA, 1936. The sugar cane white grub Lachnosterna (Phytalus) smithi Arrow in Mauritius. Proceedings of the International Society of Sugarcane Technologists, 5:436-445.

Nath P; Singh J, 1988. White grub management in sugarcane crop. Pesticides, 22(12):23-27

Nigam PM; Awasthi BK, 1978. Survey of white grub, Holotrichia consanguinea Blanch. at different depths of soil. Indian Journal of Entomology, 40(1):90-91

Pal SK; Misra SD, 1973. Studies on the biology and bionomics of Aserica sp. (Melolonthidae: Coleoptera) in the arid region of Rajasthan. Indian Journal of Agricultural Research, 7(3/4):169-172

Pike KS; Rivers RL; Oseto CY; Mayo ZB, 1980. A world bibliography of the genus Phyllophaga. The Agricultural Experiments Station, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Miscellaneous Publication No. 31.

Pollard DG, 1956. The control of chafer grubs (Schizonycha sp., Coleoptera, Melolonthinae) in the Sudan. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 47:347-360.

Raodeo AK; Deshpande SV; Deshpande AD; Puri SN; Bilapate GG, 1976. A large scale campaign for the control of white grubs (Holotrichia serrata F.) in Maharashtra State. PANS, 22(2):223-228

Reed DK; Lee MH; Kim SH; Klein MG, 1991. Attraction of scarab beetle populations (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) to Japanese beetle lures in the Republic of Korea. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 36(3-4):163-174

Ritcher PO, 1958. Biology of the Scarabaeidae. Annual Review of Entomology, 3:311-334.

Rodri AC; Quez VC; Ce a-C; Spedes ZR; Leo AC; NGR; Le AC; Piz CC, 1993. The entomological situation of potato in Costa Rica. Manejo Integrado de Plagas, 29:6-13.

Rodriguez-del-Bosque LA; Crocker RL; Riley EJ, 1995. Diversity and abundance of Phyllophaga and Anomala species in agroecosystems of northern Tamaulipas, Mexico. Southwestern Entomologist, 20(1):55-59

Rohilla HR; Singh HV; Yadava TP, 1981. White grubs - increasing menace in Haryana. Haryana Agricultural University Journal of Research, 11(2):256-258

Santoro R, 1960. Notas de entomologia agricola Dominicana. Secretaria de Estado de Agricultura y Comercio, Republica Dominicana.

Saylor LW, 1942. Notes on beetles related to Phyllophaga Harris with descriptions of new genera and sub genera. Proceedings of the US National Museum, 92(3145):157-167.

Sharma CM, 1989. White grub and its management in Rajasthan. Indian Farming, 38(11):33-36.

Shivayogeswara B; Veeresh GK, 1983. Movement and migration of white grubs (Holotrichia serrata F.) in soil with varying cropping pattern and soil types. Journal of Soil Biology and Ecology, 3(2):136-146

Smith ABT; Paulsen MJ, 2015. Ten new species of Phyllophaga Harris (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Melolonthinae) from Cuba. Coleopterists Bulletin, 69(3):435-452.

Stebbing EP, 1902. Departmental notes on insects that affect forestry, 151-334.

Sutton RF; Stone EL Jr, 1974. White grubs: a description for foresters, and an evaluation of their silvicultural significance. Information Report, Great Lakes Forest Research Centre, Canada No.O-X-212.

Tian JX; Hu JW, 1992. Study on the control of larvae of Holotrichia morosa and H. diomphalia (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) with Beauveria tenella. Natural Enemies of Insects, 14(2):62-64; 2 ref.

Trabanino CR; Pitre HN; Andrews KL; Meckenstock DH, 1989. Effect of seed size, colour, number of seeds per hill and depth of planting on sorghum seed survival and stand establishment: relationship to phytophagous insects. Tropical Agriculture, 66(3):225-229

Vásquez L, 2003. An evaluation of the fertility of adult females of Phyllophaga obsoleta, captured with light traps in La Esperanza, Honduras. (Evaluación de la fecundidad de hembras de Phyllophaga obsoleta capturadas con trampas de luz en La Esperanza, Honduras.) Manejo Integrado de Plagas y Agroecología, No.69:62-65.

Vora VJ; Ramakrishnan N, 1978. Studies on the milky disease of white-grub, Holotrichia consanguinea Blanchard (Coleoptera: Scarabpidae). Journal of Entomological Research, 2(2):136-141

Vora VJ; Ramakrishnan N, 1991. Attraction of the beetle, Holotrichia consanguinea Blanchard (Scarabaeidae: Coleoptera) to light and host plant. Indian Journal of Entomology, 53(1):45-49

Vyas RV; Yadav DN, 1993. Steinernema glaseri (Steiner) Travassos, a biological control agent of root grub Holotrichia consanguinea Blanchard. Pakistan Journal of Nematology., 11(1):41-44

Wilson G, 1956. Control of the cane grub pests Dermolepida albohirtum Waterhouse and Lepidiota frenchi Blackburn by benzene hexachloride. Technical Communication No. 2. Queensland, Australia: Bureau of Sugar Experiment Station.

Wilson G, 1969. White grubs as pests of sugar cane. In: Williams JR et al., eds. Pests of Sugar Cane. New York: Elsevier, 237-258.

Yadava CPS; Pandey SN; Bhardwaj SC; Katiyer KN, 1977. Studies of the ecology and behaviour of the white grub, Holotricha consanguinea Blanchard. Indian Journal of Ecolpogy, 4(2):206-211.

Yadava CPS; Saxena RC; Mishra RK; Dadheech LN; Poonia FS, 1978. Integated control of white grub - ICAR scheme. White Grub Newsletter, 2(2/3):23-26.

Yang P, 1984. The application of Oecophylla smaragdina Fabr. in South Fujian. Fujian Agricultural Science and Technology, No. 5:23-25

Yoshioka K; Yamasaki Y, 1923. Ecology of Lachnosterna morosa Waterhouse. I. Behaviour of the time of appearance on the ground and oviposition of adult beetle. Japenese Journal of Applied Entomology and Zoology, 27(1):52-54.

Distribution Maps

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