The Melolonthinae, many of whose species are known as "chafers", are insects of medium or big size, sometimes very big, and usually brown colored. Some classifications place these beetles in a family separated from the scarab beetles - the Melolonthidae.
Larvae of melolonthine beetles are phytophagous. They live in the ground where they feed on plant roots, especially grasses, and may cause great damage to crops. Some species are pests of golf courses, where larvae feed on the grass roots. The adults feed on young foliage, and are often attracted in large numbers to artificial lights at night.