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Ohio State University Extension


Identification of White Grubs in Turfgrass

Agriculture and Natural Resources
David J. Shetlar and Jennifer Andon

Ohio White Grub Raster Patterns—Correct identification of white grub species is important in determining management strategies and timing of controls. The raster pattern is the arrangement of bristles and hairs on the underside of the tip of the abdomen. A 10x hand lens is needed to see this pattern on most mature white grubs. A microscope may be necessary to view smaller grubs or the Ataenius raster.

White Grub Raster Location

Typical May/June Beetle Raster (~6X)
Phyllophaga sp.

Green June Beetle Raster (~5X)
Cotinus nitida

Japanese Beetle Raster (~9X)
Popillia japonica

Typical Masked Chafer Raster (~8X)
Cyclocephala sp.

European Chafer Raster (~8X)
Rhizotrogus majalis

Asiatic Garden Beetle Raster (~8X)
Maldera castanea

Oriental Beetle Raster (~8X)
Exomala orientalis

Black Turfgrass Ataenius Raster (~10X)
Ataenius spretulus

Ohio White Grub Adults—Ohio has many species of scarabs which have larvae (white grubs) that commonly attack the roots of turfgrasses and/or ornamental plants. By being able to identify the adults which are active in an area, one can expect to find their resultant white grubs. 

A May/June Beetle, Phyllophaga fusca, tan to chestnut brown

Green June Beetle, Cotinus nitida, metallic green with tan highlights

European Chafer, Rhizotrogus majalis, chestnut brown

Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica, metallic green with copper wing covers

Northern Masked Chafer, Cyclocephala borealis, yellowish brown

Southern Masked Chafer, Cyclocephala lurida, yellowish brown

Asiatic Garden Beetle, Maladera castanea, iridescent, chestnut brown

Oriental Beetle, Exomala orientalis, tan to black with dark markings

Black Turfgrass Ataenius, Ataenius spretulus, shiny black


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Originally posted Mar 8, 2012.