May Bug (Cockchafer)

I wrote about these slow flying, heavy beetles a few days ago.

This evening, I was putting clean sheets on the bed when the deep buzzing of a May Bug caught my attention. I quickly cupped it into a jar, as shown, before taking it out to the back garden for release by the goat’s willow.

The photograph is the view from the tail. It shows the egg laying protuberance of a female.

On the head the two feathered antennae, like grotesque false eye-lashes, are visible.

With wings folded the Cockchafer is the size of a man’s thumb; with wings buzzing, it looks like a blurred flying ball. I will sleep more easily without this specimen crawling around my bed.


n.b. Also known as Doodle Bugs, or Rookworms.

Christopher Perry

17th May, 2020


  1. Ben Kohns says:

    Gaaah. Where do you live? I’m removing it from my holiday list.

    1. Totally harmless. Indicative of the rich variety of wildlife and despite farmers efforts they survive. All part of the complex food chain that enables Norfolk to be a rare haven for nature. We are grateful that we don’t have Drop Bears though.

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