Heteronychus arator


What is Black Beetle

Also known as African Black Beetle. The mature adult beetles are shiny jet-black scarab beetles up to 15mm long, with serrated front legs.

Their larvae, commonly known as grass grubs, are a white to creamy-white, soft bodied grub up to 25mm long. Grass grubs have three sets of legs with a hard, light brown head capsule. 

Adult Black Beetles can cause damage to a wide variety of plants, but the favourite target of the larval grub is grass and clover. Grass grubs eat the roots of lawn grass and pasture, doing the most damage in late summer to autumn. 

All stages of this beetle live predominantly underground, so inspection is advised before spraying with insecticide.



Grass dying in patches for no apparent reason. Lawn has a damaged root system and grass looks brown or discoloured.


Plants impacted

  • Lawn
  • Grass

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