Rose Chafer—Macrodactylus subspinosus

Adult rose chafers feed primarily on flower blossoms, especially roses and peonies, causing large, irregular holes. They damage fruits, particularly grape, raspberry, and strawberry. They also feed on the foliage of many trees, shrubs and other plants, such as rose, grape, apple, cherry, and birch, typically damaging leaves by eating the leaf tissue between the large veins, a type of injury known as skeletonizing. Rose chafers are generally found in areas with sandy soil. They contain a toxin that can be deadly to birds, including chickens, and small animals. The larvae feed on the roots of grasses and non-crop plants; they do not cause damage to home lawns or landscape plants.

see also White Grubs

rose chafer larvae
Rose chafer larvae have a brown head and conspicuous legs. Fully grown, a rose chafer larvae is about 3/4-inch long.

rose chafer adult beetle
Rose chafers are scarab beetles approximately 3/8 inch long, slender, and light tan in color.

rose chafer beetles on skeletonized leaf
Adults feed on rose flowers and on foliage, skeletonizing leaves.

typical flower blossom damage by rose chafer
Typical damage to flower blossoms.

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Identification and Control Information

[Photos, left to right: (rose chafer larvae) unknown; (rose chafer adult) Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,; (rose chafer adults on leaf) University of Wisconsin Entomology; (blossom damage) Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension]