I found this giant grub (at least I think it's a grub) while fixing up the mulch around one of my trees. This thing is huge. It's thicker and as long as my finger. Only has six legs. Anyone know what kind of grub it is? I live in Southern Texas.

I am surprised its even alive as I laid down grub control in the beginning of August.

Grub1 Grub2 Grub3

5 Answers 5


Chafer grub or beetle grub I believe - in the UK, it would be chafer, but where you are, difficult to be 100% sure whether its chafer or beetle. I don't think its Japanese beetle, but they are quite similar, except that Japanese beetle grubs have very short bristles on the body. Even chafer grubs usually have orange legs and head, but sometimes can look black. Image of a chafer grub here http://goto4gardening.co.uk/treat-lawn-chafer-grubs-asap/

It's odd it was in the mulch, they are usually deeper underground, chewing on lawn or plant roots.


Appears this is some sort of Rhinoceros (Dynastidae) Beetle. Information is mixed between the different subspecies. It could be the Hercules (Dynastes tityus) beetle or Ox (Strategus aloeus) beetle. One thing that seems common between them all is that they are very big as grubs. Also as grubs they prefer woody soil, which explains why I found this guy in my mulch, and are beneficial for compost.

Here's one of the articles I found: https://ediblesanmarcos.wordpress.com/rhinoceros-beetle/

  • 1
    This really does look like something from the family Scarabaeidae, and the Rhinoceros beetle is what came to mind first due to its size. The estern US range reaches south to FL.
    – That Idiot
    Oct 3, 2017 at 15:34

I found this post while researching the giant grub I found in a decaying tree. That is, in very woody, mulch-like environment. It was at least the size of my (adult female) index finger. I live in SE Texas. I believe it's the larva of some sort of scarab/rhinoceros beetle just like the writer found. I put it in a ramekin dish so it couldn't escape and placed in my platform bird feeder. A few hours later it was gone but insect "blood" remained meaning it was so huge, the bird had to tear it into pieces to swallow. What a meal!


It looks like a crane fly (Tipula paludosa) to me. They are also sometimes called leatherbacks.

The above linked article describes them as: Wormlike with leathery sky, 1 to 1.5" long, hatching in Aug or Sept. They typically feed on the roots of a lawn (at least in the Pacific Northwest) throughout the winter. Lawns will show damage between December and May.

The adults (crane flies) emerge anytime from July to mid-October, and quickly lay eggs.

As for why the "grub control" did work, I'd suspect it was targeting a different life stage on the insect, but I don't deal with a lot in insecticided. There seems to be some indication that allowing your landscape to go partially into drought stress may reduce the numbers of larva.

  • I'm not sure it's this. According to the following article, these leatherbacks have no head and no legs. The grub I found definitely has a distinct head (with pinchers) and six legs: msue.anr.msu.edu/news/…
    – Ifrit
    Oct 1, 2017 at 16:36

Figeater / June bug. Just found a grub like yours crossing my lawn and their season is coming to a close here. I'm in southern AZ and almost positive you have them out there too.

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