African Black Beetle

The African Black Beetle (Heteronychus arator) is an insect in the Scarabaeidae family of rhinoceros beetles. It is also known as the African Lawn Beetle.

The African Black Beetle has a shiny, black oval-shaped body with six legs. It has black wing casings called elytra. 

African Black Beetle

It grows to 1-1.5 centimetres (about half an inch) in length.

It is native to countries in Africa. It likes to live in grass and lawns, as well as crop plants, garden flowers, trees, and shrubs.

It eats plants, especially food crops and grass.

It is slow moving. It is nocturnal, active at night. It flies mainly at night. 

Its life cycle is egg, larva (grub), pupa, and adult. The female lays eggs in soil during spring. The eggs take 14-35 days to hatch into larvae. The larvae have a C-shaped body and live in the soil. The larvae pupate and emerge as adult beetles in December or January.

The adult African Black Beetle lives for about ten months.

African Black Beetle

Location of photograph: Nairobi, Kenya

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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