Beetles are about 6 mm long, yellow in colour with red patches over the shoulders and near the distal end of elytra (wing covers). Eggs are laid in the soil surface, mainly in pastures, and the larvae, which are about 5 mm long when full-grown, feed on the grass roots and pupate in the soil. The life cycle takes about two months during summer and there are three to four generations annually. Adults usually emerge from the soil after good rains following a dry spell. If larval populations in the soil are high, the multitude of emerging beetles will form an aggregation and swarms may migrate into tree crops at any time of the year.