Maladera insanabilis

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Maladera insanabilis
Maladera Insanabilis.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Superfamily: Scarabaeoidea
Family: Scarabaeidae
Subfamily: Melolonthinae
Genus: Maladera
Subgenus: (Cephaloserica)
Species: M. insanabilis
Binomial name
Maladera insanabilis
Brenske, 1894

Maladera matrida Argaman, 1986

Maladera insanabilis, sometimes colloquially called "Khomeini Beetle", is a species of a beetle in the family Scarabaeidae. It is prevalent in Iran and other countries in the Middle-East.

Adults are active in the summer and in the spring. Males can be seen flying at night searching for females, and their attraction to light makes them a common household pest. Adults range in length from 7 to 9 mm and possess a brownish-red color.


The adult diet consists of leaves, buds and flowers of several plants like roses, sweet potato and citrus trees. The female lays between 60 and 100 eggs on the soil in clusters. The larval forms of M. insanabilis live underground. Their diet consists of roots and may cause serious damage to crops like sweet potato.

Introduction to Israeli ecosystem[edit]

This species was introduced into Israel in the 1980s. It is believed that a number of specimens arrived on shipments of pistachios and oil that were brought from Iran. Unaware that this beetle was already well-known elsewhere, an Israeli researcher mistakenly renamed it Maladera matrida, the new scientific name reflecting the nuisance it brings: "matrida" "מטרידה" means "bothersome" in Hebrew.[1] Due to its Iranian origin and brown color ("khoum" in Hebrew), it is colloquially named 'Khomeini' after Iranian politician Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of Iran at the time the insect began spreading in Israel.[2]

See also[edit]