Melolonthinae is a subfamily of the scarab beetles (family Scarabaeidae). It is a very diverse group; distributed over most of the world, it contains over 11,000 species in over 750 genera. Some authors include the scarab subfamilies Euchirinae and Pachypodinae as tribes in the Melolonthinae.
|Male Polyphylla alba (Melolonthini)|
|About 20–30 tribes|
Unlike some of their relatives, their habitus is usually not bizarre. They resemble the Rutelinae in being fairly plesiomorphic in outward appearance. Like in many Scarabaeidae, males have large fingered antennae, while those of the females are smaller and somewhat knobby. In the Melolonthinae, this sexual dimorphism is particularly pronounced. Many species have striking – though rarely brilliant or iridescent – hues and bold patterns of hairs.
Being often quite sizeable and swarming in numbers at certain times, for example the Amphimallon, Phyllophaga and Polyphylla "june beetles" or the Melolontha cockchafers – all from tribe Melolonthini – feature widely in folklore. Some Melolonthinae are economically significant pests. Other than the Melolonthini, the most diverse tribes are the Ablaberini, Liparetrini, Macrodactylini, Tanyproctini and Sericini.
- Ablaberini Burmeister, 1855 – including Camentini
- Automoliini Britton, 1978
- Chasmatopterini Lacordaire, 1856
- Colymbomorphini Blanchard, 1850 – including Stethaspini and Xylonychini
- Comophorinini Britton, 1957 – including Comophini
- Dichelonychini Burmeister 1855
- Diphucephalini Britton, 1957
- Diphycerini Medvedev, 1952 – sometimes in Macrodactylini
- Diplotaxini Kirby, 1837 – sometimes in Melolonthini
- Heteronychini Britton, 1957
- Hopliini Latreille, 1829
- Lichniini Burmeister, 1844
- Liparetrini Burmeister, 1855 – including Allarini, Colpochilini
- Macrodactylini Kirby, 1837 – including Dichelonyciini
- Maechidiini Burmeister, 1855
- Melolonthini Leach, 1819 – including Rhizotrogini
- Oncerini LeConte, 1861
- Pachytrichini Burmeister, 1855
- Phyllotocidiini Britton, 1957
- Podolasiini Howden, 1997 – sometimes in Hopliini
- Scitalini Britton, 1957
- Sericini Dalla Torre, 1912
- Sericoidini Burmeister, 1855
- Systellopini Sharp, 1877
- Tanyproctini Erichson, 1847 – includes Pachydemini
Several genera are of unclear relations; they are not yet firmly placed in a tribe:
- Cave, R.D. & Ratcliffe, B.C. (2008). Scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea). In J.F. Capinera (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Entomology (pp. 3273–3286. Heidelberg. Springer.
- Ocampo, F.C., Vaz-de-Mello, F.Z. (2008) The genus Xenaclopus Arrow (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): redescription and removal from the Aclopinae, with systematic notes. Zootaxa, 1916: 57–62.