Black soil scarab

Othnonius batesii

The larvae have yellow head capsules and grow up to 40 mm long. The body of the larva is whitish grey when it is feeding and changes to white before pupation.

Damage: Larvae prune the roots of young cereal plants by actively feeding on the roots or damaging them while foraging for soil organic matter. Damaged plants initially grow normally but wither and die at tillering resulting in bare patches in the crop.