Cockchafer (Maybug)

Cockchafer (Maybug)

The cockchafer (or maybug) is a widespread bug in Europe. Its larvae, known as chafer grubs are considered a pest.

Biology

Keywords

cockchafer, beetle, complete metamorphosis, Beetles, chafer grub, hard outer wing, arthropod leg, chitin layer, chitin, abdomen, thorax, animal, insect, arthropod, insects, arthropods, biology

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Scenes

Cockchafer (Maybug)

The cockchafer, also known as maybug, is widespread in Europe. Its average length is 2.5–3 cm. Both males and females have antennae, they can be distinguished by the number of lamellae on the antennae. While females have 6 of these, males have 7.

Anatomy

  • head
  • thorax
  • abdomen
  • hard outer wings (elytra)
  • leg
  • chewing mouthparts - Evolved from legs, this is the earliest type of insect mouthparts. Their function is typically to crush or cut food.
  • antenna - Chemical sensory organ by which males detect pheromones of females.

The body of the cockchafer, similarly to other insects, consists of 3 main parts: head, thorax and abdomen.

The head contains the antennae, which serve as chemical sensory organs, the chewing mouthparts and the compound eyes. The thorax contains 3 pairs of legs and 2 pairs of wings. The forewings of beetles are hardened wings (elytra) that serve as protection, while the hindwings are membranous wings, used for flight.

Internal organs

  • brain - It is a pair of ganglia. It plays an important role in processing information coming from the eyes and antennae, and it also controls the functions of the rest of the nervous system. It contains neurosecretory cells, neurons secreting juvenile hormones, which control shedding.
  • ventral nerve cord - It starts in the brain and runs along the abdomen. The ganglia of the ventral nerve cord contain neuron cells and are joined by bundles of nerve fibres.
  • genitals - Insects have separate sexes; male genitals produce sperm, female genitals produce eggs.
  • multichamber heart - Insects have an open circulatory system filled with haemolymph. It is circulated by a tube that extends along almost the entire length of the body, from the heart located in the abdomen to the head of the insect, where it flows into the body cavities. It re-enters the tube through openings along its sides. Its function is to transport nutrients and waste. It does not transport breathing gases, this is the task of the trachea system.
  • salivary gland - Saliva serves to moisten the food and to start digesting it by its enzymes.
  • craw - Used to store and soften the food prior to digestion.
  • stomach - The inside of it is lined with chitinous grooves and teeth that help to grind food. The stomach of insects is also called ´gizzard´.
  • gastric caeca - They increase surface area and allow for more efficient digestion and absorption of nutrients.
  • Malpighian tubules - They form the excretory system of insects. The tubules filter the haemolymph filling body cavities and release the filtrate into the intestine. There, the useful nutrients (water, sugar, etc.) are absorbed and get back into the haemolymph, waste and toxins are excreted.
  • hindgut - Malphigian tubules filter the haemolymph filling body cavities and release the filtrate into this body part. Here the useful materials (water, sugar, etc.) are absorbed and get back into the haemolymph, wastes and toxins are excreted.

Chafer grubs

  • leg
  • antenna
  • chewing mouthparts - The earliest type of insect mouthparts. Their function is typically to crush or cut food. Chafer grubs cause a lot of damage in agriculture by chewing the roots of plants.

Larvae, known as chafer grubs, develop in the soil and feed on the roots of plants, thus they may cause serious damage in agriculture. Depending on the climate, larvae develop into pupae on the summer of their 3rd–5th year. After 6 more weeks, an adult beetle emerges from the pupa, overwinters in the soil, then works their way to the surface in April or May.

Animation

  • head
  • thorax
  • abdomen
  • hard outer wings (elytra)
  • leg
  • chewing mouthparts - Evolved from legs, this is the earliest type of insect mouthparts. Their function is typically to crush or cut food.
  • antenna - Chemical sensory organ by which males detect pheromones of females.
  • leg
  • antenna
  • chewing mouthparts - The earliest type of insect mouthparts. Their function is typically to crush or cut food. Chafer grubs cause a lot of damage in agriculture by chewing the roots of plants.

Narration

The cockchafer, also known as the maybug, is widespread in Europe. Its average length is 2.5–3 cm. Both males and females have antennae, they can be distinguished by the number of lamellae on their antennae. While females have 6 of these, males have 7.

Larvae, known as chafer grubs, develop in the soil and feed on the roots of plants, thus they may cause serious damage in agriculture. Depending on the climate, larvae develop into pupae in the summer of their 3rd–5th year. After 6 more weeks, an adult beetle emerges from the pupa, overwinters in the soil, and then works their way to the surface in April or May.

As with other insects, the body of the cockchafer consists of 3 main parts: the head, thorax and abdomen. The head contains the antennae, which serve as chemical sensory organs, as well as the chewing mouthparts and the compound eyes. The thorax contains 3 pairs of legs and 2 pairs of wings. The forewings of beetles are hardened wings (elytra) that protect them, while the hindwings are membranous wings, used for flight.

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