1. rq says

    I believe it is a Melolontha melolontha, also known as the May beetle (maijvabole) or maybug in these parts, something related to the junebug of the North American continent (the European junebug being about half the size of the maybug).

  2. says

    @Saad it is cockchafer. It is indeed a very beautifull beetle, but I have somewhat mixed feelings about it.

    Before the use of pesticides they could occasionally totaly destroy gardens and fields, they could even kill grown trees when they peaked after 30 years of hiatus. The grubs were also a major pest. My parents still remember times before the use of pesticides when these had to be collected manually from fields in order to salvage at least some usable harvest. Allegedly they caused some serious local famines in central Europe.

    It is a very rare sight today, I have seen them only twice in my life. And honestly I am glad of that, I do not want visitors like these in my garden, definitively not in the amounts my parents were talking about.

  3. rq says

    They were also edible. :)
    And they’re quite lovely, since they’re pollinators, in small amounts -- they’re quite common around here. They may be a pest in the garden, but there’s not nearly enough of them for that; we have far more trouble with the colorado beetle than we do with the maybugs.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    May beetles aren’t resident to Finland (though they come here with imported food or plants every now and then). The Finnish name is saksanturilas (Saksa is Germany, -n denotes genitive, and turilas is a name for Melolonthinae beetles in Finnish*).
    * = AFAIK, Russians have a name corresponding to turilas, Хрущ (Khrushch), not sure if other languages have corresponding name for them.

  5. says

    @rq I might be tempted to try and taste them :-), but I think a few servings of soup would be a poor compensation for destroyed trees that yield a few hunderd kilograms of nuts and fruit per year. And if they ate my bonsai trees that I have been nursing for twenty years, I would bear it rather badly. Colorado beetle never caused me any trouble. I always managed to collect and destroy them before there was enough to kill a single plant.

    @ Ice Swimmer, in czech their name is “chroust”, pronounciation similar to that of russian but with st instead of sch at the end. Both names are derived from the rattling sound (“chrastit”) the beetle makes with its wings. Also the name has coincidental similarity to the verb “chroustat” which means “eat with crunching”.

  6. rq says

    That’s because colorado beetle grubs usually are the ones causing most damage, and they do that with gusto when it comes to potatoes (one of the major crops out in the country for us). The adults will eat leaves and such (I believe), but it’s the grubs that really get into it, and you can’t see them until the harvest and you realize half your crop is destroyed. :(
    If I ever try cockchafer soup, I will be sure to let you know. ;)

  7. says

    @rq -- funnily enough, we always manage to gather the colorado beetles early on, and we destroy the eggs they manage to lay and the few grubs that manage to hatch. Like I said, never got a problem and I regularly harvest ~100 kg potatoes.
    I am looking forward towards your review of cockchafer soup :) If these pictures are from previous year, you should have next opportunity in 2019-2020.

  8. rq says

    We have them every year, actually -- there’s enough for new adults to hatch every year instead of waiting for the new cycle to finish. :)
    100kg? Mmm… I’m trying to find a visual representation of how much potatoes that would be, because that sounds like very little (for us). I mean, landwise, last year’s planting was the smallest in years and it was about half a hectare… this year’s is bound to be much larger. An average-to-low year might be upwards of 500kg? We never weigh them, so I need a visual reference… Anyway, the area they’re planted over is large enough to make manual beetle- and egg-picking difficult due to the fact that nobody really lives on-location, which again is different this year, so we’ll see. Plus the colorado beetle has good and bad years, and it depends on the strain. Recent years were a bit of a struggle trying to find the potato strain it likes least -- on the plus side, most strains are developed locally, for local conditions, and quite a few keep in mind the colorado beetle itself.
    Anyway, enough about potatoes. :) I have a personal vendetta against colorado beetles, no matter how dandy and fine they might look in their striped jackets. :)

  9. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin offers this algorithm for converting a pile of potatoes into kilogrammes:

    (1) Replace pile of potatoes with one of cheese, of similar — or better, greater — volume.
    (2) Weigh self on scale.
    (3) Eat all the remaining cheese. (Including any which happens to be left in the potato-replacement pile.)
    (4) Weigh self on scale again. Use of same units as step 2 is optional.
    (5) Subtract number obtained in step 2 from that obtained in step 4. Label with unit(s) of choice.
    (6) Apply Finagle’s variable constant to correct the result.
    (7) Eat some moar cheese.

    These will also keep the beetles happy as they have pile of unwanted, uneaten, potatoes to munch on.

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