Species category: Beetles & Weevils
Scientific name: Sericesthis pruinose
The adult has a spherical shape with a tough, hardened outer casing covering its abdomen. The casing features longitudinal grooves and has tiny hairs. It is typically 12mm in length.
Pruinose Scarab Beetles are native to Australia and have a very similar morphology to the Argentinian Scarab.
This pest lives in soil and is typically found in turf, its presence is often indicated by a spongier feel to the turf, which results from the damaged root system, and also by increased bird activity.
It lays its eggs during summer and this is when the worst turf damage can occur. They produce eggs at an incredibly fast rate which feed off the root system and organic matter in soil. Often the damage is already done by the time the pests are visible.
The species has notorious root eating larvae. They damage turf by root feeding, weakening the turf and making it vulnerable. In December, the larvae cause considerable damage to grass, which can be accentuated by widespread bird-feeding with associated tearing of the turf.