The Polyphylla fullo Beetle (Polyphylla fullo) is an insect in the Scarabaeidae family of scarab beetles.
The Polyphylla fullo has a strong, robust body that is reddish-brown to grey-black covered with white spots. The adult male has fan-shaped antennae with lots of leaf-like structures. The name ‘polyphylla’ means many leaves. It has two wing cases, called elytra, that protect its wings. It can fly for short distances.
It is the largest of this species of beetle. It grows to about 4 centimetres (1.5 inches) long.
It is found in countries in North Africa, Europe, the Middle East, eastern Balkans and the Caucasus, but mostly in central and southern Europe.
It prefers sandy habitats, such as pine tree forests, vineyards, and dunes.
The adult Polyphylla fullo feeds on pine needles.
The female lays eggs in decaying vegetation. She dies after laying her eggs. The eggs hatch into C-shaped larvae (grubs). The larvae feed on leaf litter and grass, and grow very quickly. They undergo metamorphosis when they pupate and adult beetles emerge in spring.
The life span of the Polyphylla fullo is about 2 years.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM