Heteronychus arator

What is Black Beetle

Larvae are a white to creamy-white, soft bodied curl grub up to 25mm long, many people confuse them for witchetty grubs. They have three sets of legs with a hard, light brown head capsule. Mature/adult beetles are shiny jet-black scarab beetle up to 15mm long with serrated front legs.

Both the adult and larval stages of the African Black Beetle can cause damage to roots of a wide variety of plants. 

The favoured plant of the black beetle is grass. The adult black beetle is 15mm long and eats the roots of grass and other plants in summer to mid- autumn. 

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



If you see your grass dying in patches for no apparent reason. The lawn has a damaged root system and the grass looks brown or discoloured.


Plants impacted

  • Lawn
  • Grass

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