An illustration of a full grown cockchafer larva. The cockchafer (colloquially called may bug, billy witch, or spang beetle, particularly in East Anglia) is a European beetle of the genus Melolontha, in the family Scarabaeidae. Once abundant throughout Europe and a major pest in the periodical years of "mass flight", it had been nearly iradicated in the middle of the 20th century through extensive use of pesticides and has even been locally exterminated in many regions. However, since a change in pest control beginning in the 1980s, its numbers have started to grow again. As they don't tolerate pollution well, their presence is usually a marker of low pollution levels.