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Our little boy found this glorious May Bug
at the base of our cherry tree.
After a watercolour sketch by me and a good, close examination from our lad, it was reluctantly given its freedom. Whereupon it flew back up into the tree.

Materials Used

I’ve used a 6B pencil and watercolour. Its in an Arboreta heavy-weight 160g/m sketch pad.

May Bug or Cockchafer

(Melolontha melolontha)

Found throughout Europe and is a member of the Scarab beetle family. These include dung-beetles and chafers. It is the UK’s largest scarab beetle. May Bugs are 25 – 30 mm long and have a fan-like extension to their antennae. Males have seven segments to the antennae, while females have six.

The conspicuous adult lives for five to seven weeks. The larva, which are large, white grubs with brown heads, live in the soil for three years. Eat plant roots, they reach 40 – 45 mm in size. The burrow deeper into the soil to pupate. Before emerging as adults in May & June.

Numbers of May Bugs have been in decline with the use of chemical pesticides, in the 20th Century. However, we are starting to see more again with concern over the amount of pesticides being used.

When in flight May Bugs are often heard before they are seen, as they make a whirring noise.

© Copyright Nick Watton.
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