Asiopertha nazarena (Marseul)
(Formerly placed in the genus Phyllopertha).
Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Homometabola, Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae.
Common name: Nazarene chafer, winter chafer, winter wheat scarab.
Morphology: The body of the adult is brown-green, about 12 mm long, head and thorax with a bluish hue, elytra yellow-brown with 2 pairs of dark spots. Larva apodous, about 30 mm in length, body whitish, head brown.
Geographical distribution: The Middle East.
Host plants: Winter cereals, seldom watermelons or legumes.
Life history: During spring females lay 30-40 eggs in the soil, where the hatched larvae feed on plant roots, infesting winter cereals after the first autumnal rains. They develop slowly and in spring descend to deeper soil strata, aestivating there till next autumn. During the second autumn the larvae resume feeding, and in spring they move to deeper strata and pupate. The emerging adults move up to the soil surface to initiate a new generation. A single generation may last 2-3 years, depending on the weather.
Economic importance: Cereal winter crops can be heavily damaged, especially when heavy rains fall in autumn. Attacked plants wither and large, and uneven bald patches are left in the fields.
Monitoring: The presence of bald patches in winter crop fields may indicate the presence of the pest.
Rivnay, E. 1944. A contribution to our knowledge of Phyllopertha (Blitopertha) nazarena Mars., a wheat pest in Palestine. Bulletin de la Société Fouad 1er Entomologique d`Égypte 28: 101-108.
Sadeh, D. (and 6 co-authors). 2012. The phenology of the wheat chafer and devising means to reduce its damage. Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the Israeli Society for Crop and Vegetable Sciences, p. 24 (in Hebrew).