Turfgrass Entomology (ataenius)



ataenuis grubs photo beetles photo turf photo

Black turfgrass ataenius adults are dark brown or black and about 1/4 inch long. As for life cycle, adults overwinter in loose soil, pine needles, and leaf litter and begin moving into turfgrass in March or April. Females deposit eggs in soil and thatch. Upon hatching, the larvae feed on grass roots for 3 to 5 weeks before pupating. Most first-generation adults emerge in mid-July. Second generation larvae begin appearing in late July or early August and mature into the overwintering adults by October. Black turfgrass ataenius larvae are almost identical in appearance to other species of white grubs, but are much smaller (1/4 inch). Accordingly, larger numbers of these grubs must be present before severe turf injury occurs. Damage by this insect has primarily occurred on eastern Nebraska golf course fairways.