African black beetle

African black beetles are a major agricultural pest. 

Found in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland, these pests damage several pasture species, cereal crops, horticultural crops and some forestry species.

The African black beetle are easily mistaken for other pests, including the redheaded pasture cockchafer, the blackheaded pasture cockchafer, and yellowheaded cockchafers.

These common cockchafer pests share features with the African black beetle that are only discernible to a trained eye or when comparing species side-by-side.

Nevertheless, they can be distinguished from these cockchafers by considering their behaviour, biology and physical attributes.

Some of these include the damage caused at different stages in their lifecycle, feeding behaviour, plant host preference, and physical attributes such as, head capsule and anal opening.

With few effective African black beetle control options available, the focus needs to be on reducing the risk of damaging levels being reached by adopting a combination of strategies.


Download the 'African black beetle' fact sheet'

Key messages

  • Familiarize yourself with the common pasture beetles that occurred in you area to better manage the insect pressure
  • Adopt a combination of strategies to minimize losses under insect pressure