Black sunflower scarab

Pseudoheteronyx basicollis

Larvae are creamy white with a grey rear end, brown head capsule and up to 25 mm long. They are C-shaped grubs with wrinkly bodies. Adult beetles are 13 mm long, shiny and black.

Larvae feed on taproots causing wilting and death of plants up to 400 mm high. Damage is most prevalent where sunflowers follow wheat, sorghum or grass pasture. Adult beetles feed on foliage, often in a line across the field.