Anomala sulcatula

USDA Regulated Pest

Common name(s)

Philippine chafer

Taxonomy

Family: Scarabaeidae Subfamily: Rutelinae Genus: Anomala Species: Anomala sulcatula (Burmeister, 1844)

Adult diagnosis

Total body length 14.0–18.0 mm (0.55–0.71 in). Body shape ovate. Color brown to nearly black; somewhat metallic. Front tibia with two external teeth; apical tooth longer in female than male; basal tooth feeble in male and female. Front inner claw bifurcate; bifurcate claw curved but not sinuate in either sex. Hind tibia of male with inner margin greatly dilated at the middle (less so in female).

Larval diagnosis

Undescribed. For Anomala (Ritcher, 1966): Grub C-shaped, not hump-backed, cylindrical, whitish. Lacinia of maxilla with 2 apical unci equal in size. Maxillary stridulatory area with 4–7 sharp, recurved teeth. Epipharynx with 2–4 prominent heli. Final antennal segment with single dorsal sensory spot. Spiracles on abdominal segments 7 and 8 similar in size and conspicuously larger than spiracles on abdominal segments 1–6. Anal slit transverse, arcuate; bordered by several irregular rows of stout setae. Lower anal lip bearing patch of 13 hamate setae.

Native range

Philippines. This species is thought to have originated from the Philippine Islands (Suehiro, 1960).

Plant host(s)

Larvae are known to feed upon the roots of sugar cane (Saccharum spp.) (Pemberton, 1963), rice (Oryza sativa) (International Rice Research Institute, 1986), and corn (Zea mays) (Bryan, 1949).

Life history

Poorly known. Presumably, the life history of this species is similar to that of the closely related oriental beetle (Anomala orientalis). Larvae develop in soil where they feed upon the roots of a number of plant species. Adults are likely generalist folivores and active at night.

Pest potential

Moderate. This species is a USDA APHIS regulated pest (USDA APHIS, 2012) and is a species of concern in California (Cosner, 2013). Larvae attack the roots of several important grass crops and are minor pests in the Philippines, Guam, and the Northern Marianas (Pemberton, 1963).

Status in Hawaii

Recorded, not established. In 1955-56 this species was detected on a plane flying into Hawaii from Japan (USDA, 1957). Although not established on the main Hawaiian Islands, Anomala sulcatula was previously detected on Midway (Suehiro, 1960), but no recent records are known.

Status in Guam

Established. Anomala sulcatula has been established in Guam since at least 1948 (Krombein, 1949).

Potential distribution and dispersal pathway

Having already spread to Guam, this species has a high likelihood of reaching Hawaii in the near future. Florida and the U.S. Caribbean territories are also potentially at risk. It is unclear if Anomala sulcatula could survive the cool winters in California, Texas, and the southern U.S. This species is attracted to lights at night, and it is likely that it would be attracted to well-lit ports and airports. This would allow for hitchhiking on marine or air cargo, as occurred with the 1956-57 specimen. Further, it is possible that larvae or eggs could be transported in shipments of commercial turf.

Similar species

Anomala sulcatula is one of five Anomala species recorded from Hawaii and Guam along with Anomala orientalis, Anomala cuprea, Anomala viridana, and Anomala albopilosa. It is separated from the other species by examination of the bifurcate male front claw (which is curved but non-sinuate in A. sulcatula versus strongly sinuate in A. cuprea and A. viridana, weakly sinuate in A. albopilosa), male hind tibia (A. sulcatula with inner margin greatly dilated at the middle versus all other Hawaiian and Guamanian Anomala not greatly dilated at the middle), and total body length (A. sulcatula is 14.0–18.0 mm [0.55–0.71 in] versus less than 13.0 mm [0.51 in] in A. orientalis).

Other names (synonyms)

None known

Report your observation

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Anomala sulcatula male; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male foretibia; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male foretibia; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male foreclaw. By EL Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male foreclaw. By EL Engasser

Anomala sulcatula female foretibia; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula female foretibia; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male genitalia, lateral view; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male genitalia, lateral view; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male genitalia, dorsal view; photo by E.L. Engasser

Anomala sulcatula male genitalia, dorsal view; photo by E.L. Engasser

distribution map for Anomala sulcatula

distribution map for Anomala sulcatula