Astylus atromaculatus (Spotted maize beetle)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Coleoptera (beetles) > Polyphaga > Superfamily: Cleroidea > Family: Melyridae > Subfamily: Dasytinae

The Spotted Maize Beetle is indigenous to South America where its distribution includes Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. It is thought to have been introduced into South Africa in about 1916.

Astylus atromaculatus


Life cycle


Larvae. The larvae (termed grubs) live in the soil, feeding on decayed vegetable matter. They are a pest in maize fields because they feed on newly planted maize seeds, causing damage both before and after germination. More about maize pests...


Adults. The adults occur in large numbers in January and February, feeding on pollen from a wide variety of plants. Even though occurring in large numbers, they don't usually cause sufficient damage to warrant attempting to control them with insecticides. 


  • Annecke, D.P. & Moran, V.C. 1982. Insects and mites of cultivated plants in South Africa. Butterworths, Durban.

Text by Hamish Robertson

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