What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

beetle like bug with pincers and orange fan like antenna
Mon, May 25, 2009 at 12:36 PM
I found this insect in my back garden in England UK. I have never seen anything like this before. Its body length was about 1.5 inches long and It had very large wings. Its face looked see through with large black bulging eye and pincers.It looked like it had a face.it had a fury neck and a hard shell body. could you please let me know what insect this is. I would be very grateful.
Tanni Celep UK



Hi Tanni,
Your beetle is a type of Scarab known as a Cockchafer, Melolontha melolontha, also known as a May Bug.  According to David A Kendall on the Insect & Other Arthropods website:  “Adult chafers eat the leaves and flowers of many deciduous trees, shrubs and other plants, but rarely cause any serious damage in the UK. ”  According to the UK Safari website:  “Cockchafers tend to swarm around trees and bushes, as they feed on the leaves.  The wing cases of the adult beetles are covered in tiny grey hairs, giving them a dusty appearance.  They’re quite clumsy in flight.  Often colliding into things as they wobble about in the air. Their wings also make a loud buzzing sound.
The cockchafer has a three year life cycle. After mating the female digs down about 20cm into the soil to lay between 10 and 20 eggs.  The eggs hatch after 21 days and the larvae remain in the soil for a further two years feeding on plant roots. … Cockchafers are sometimes called ‘May Bugs’ because of the month they appear.  In Suffolk they’re also known as ‘Billy Witches’. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

8 Responses to Cockchafer or Billy Witch from United Kingdom

  1. mardikavana says:

    This is a male.

  2. Leah says:

    Hi how do we kill a billy witch we have someone who has a phobia of bugs ?

    • Tyler says:

      I cut its head off

    • MAYBUG PHOBIC says:

      HELP HELP HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEEEEEEASE HELP

      I TOO have a phobia. I live in Eastbourne and only today two girls saw me running screaming. They thought that I had been attacked or something and could not see the Maybugs that I could see! They had never even heard of them. They walked with me to a bus stop as I had a jacket wrapped around my head. It has been very, very hot and the Maybugs love it! This phobia of Maybugs takes over my life as they come out all year round and I can be “housebound.” I have run into the Road screaming with people thinking I am mad. I cry, sweat and scream and it is SERIOUS. A Locum said it stems from early childhood Trauma and I that I need PTSD Trauma Based Therapy (LONG LONG story but I have had a battle with the Mental Health Services for over two decades.) I suffer with Mixed Personality Disorder and CPTSD. Can someone help???????

  3. FullbusterFrost says:

    They are called “June bugs” as they appear in June, not may. Also, if one gets stuck in your hair, you’ll have to cut it out because they really get stuck.

  4. David says:

    To kill a Billy Witch you need a roll of newspaper to swat it then stomp on it. or net it and put it outside it doesn’t want to be indoors. and it is totally harmless and only flies around looking for a mate.

  5. Helen says:

    Do they eat human hair?

  6. Tracey Milam says:

    Well it’s now 24th june. Sitting outside and loads of Billy Witches flying around. A bit annoying but hey ho it’s their world as it is ours. Nature at its best

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