Question from Jeff: Underground Insect in Corn

Question: I found this in a corn field last week, thinking it is a white grub. Just wanting confirmation on identity.


Answer provided by John Gavloski, Entomologist, MAFRD:

From the photo, this larva can only be keyed to a family of beetles known as Scarab beetles. This family includes the white grubs (of which there are several species) and dung beetles.

It could be an early stage of a white grub. Larvae of white grubs feed on plant roots, but with the species we have in Manitoba they are seldom a pest in corn, and often in patches.

Larvae of dung beetles often look like white grubs, but don’t get as big. We sometimes find them in fields that have had manure applied.  Dung beetle larvae are decomposers, so beneficial.

Thank you for your submission to Crop Chatter Jeff!

For more information on insects, visit MAFRD’s webpage at