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What is Salagubang?

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SALAGUBANG is a Filipino word for a group of scarabs (a kind of beetle, photo at right), specifically of the subfamily Melolonthinae. In my dialect, Cebuano, it is called bakukang, which is also a collective name for the same beetles and also includes species of the subfamily Dynastinae. Of course, more varied forms from other families are called other names but salagubang is the most common.

The Philippines being mainly an agricultural country, its farmers and rural folks are very much familiar with these beetles which are considered both a boon and a bane. A bane because it has inflicted considerable damage to crops with the larvae eating on the roots and adults the leaves. A boon as they provide a rich source of protein once fried to a crisp and at the same time, provide a psychological salve as revenge for the season’s crop’s loss is exacted. And this is what prompted the people of Tuy, Batangas to mount their Salagubang Peste-Val. A rather witty play on the word peste or pest, marked by salagubang eating contest (both fried and raw – in the latter case, its the larvae), salagubang mascots, contests, contests and contests in the typical style of the convivial Filipino fiesta.

Sweet revenge!

More than that, it provided for countless children’s enjoyment, including me. Not really a sadistic ritual as adult beetles are strung and agitated to make it fly in frenzy, alas, tethered, as but a cheap alternative to the rather expensive, non-biodegradable toys that have now flooded the market. These beetles evoke a distant past. A happy one. Of days and lazy summers spent in the provinces. Of rice paddies and mango trees.

  • dapat yata salagubang tawag ko sa yo 🙂

    will link your blogs later

    entomology is your hobby? someday sana meron man lang species na ipangalan sa akin

  • Haha, tutubi, collecting beetles is my hobby but I haven’t gone collecting for years! Maybe in the coming months.

    Named after you? Hmmm, tingnan natin 🙂

  • kris

    it is very helpful for a students like me

  • Geonyzl

    san ka nakabili ng insect pins?

  • Geonyzl, I ordered some of it online from Entomopraxis, a Spain based website but most were given to me by European collector/friends.

  • ryu

    ano ba ang kinakain ng mga salagubang???

  • Ryu, salagubangs, eat leaves of trees. However, for beetles in general, sources of food is almost anything organic.

  • dicky banzon

    What’s the biggest beetle in the philippines, how big is it and where is it found?

  • Dicky, the largest, not always the longest though, is the Atlas beetle (Chalcosoma atlas). Bulky specimens can reach 130mm in length from tip of horn to end of abdomen. It is found nationwide and are known pests of palms. Check this page for the photo.

  • Efren C. Elmaga Jr.

    Hello..im a Beetle trainer in Mindanao..i live in

    Cagayan de oro but born and raised in the province of Bukidnon…doon sa Bukidnon marami mga beetles…doon ako nanghuuli at ng train ng mga beetles…ako at aking barkada lng nag-papa away nga mga alaga nmen…pro nde nman araw2x…araw2x in-algaan ko cla..pina pa kain…

    salamat d2 sa site mo…madami akong na kuha na info…



    yan ang mga beetle vids ko…BTW…Xylotrupes pubescens yan ang mga alaga ko…

    BTW..namn…Chalcosoma atlas saan sa Mindanao ko to makikita??….kc hahanapin ko nato..ahaha..

    Tnx..more Power to u and God Bless…

    pS..reply lng sa email add ko..

    helix_99@yahoo.com YM

    efren_rpg@yahoo.com FS

  • Jhon

    saan ba nahahanap yung salagubang na pinakita sa commersyal sa coke

  • Jhon

    mayroong bang salagubang na nakakalason

  • Jhon, it’s a foreign beetle. From South America ata.

  • Nope. walang beetle na nakakalason.

  • bai, medyo interesting na imo beetle fights. Chalcosoma atlas is found in Bukidnon too pero pangitaon unless you know where to find. Grubs are usually found in decaying trees. Forested areas are better.

  • etino

    ano po ba ung tawag sa mga common salagubang na nakukuha sa mga mango trees?

  • etino, it’s still called “salagubang,” the brown ones that are cooked and eaten in some places in the philippines.

  • MarcRiyo

    ESTAN, may nahuli akong mga salagubang, anu bang dahon ang kinakain nila?

  • Marc, pwede mango, guava at marami pang iba. kung wala ka makuha or not sure, tingnan mo ang vicinity where you got these. check out the vegetation na halatang kinain ang mga dahon.

  • n d r

    ano ang tawag sa batocabeza

  • what do you mean? or any pictures?

  • OrlyC

    Butocabesa is tagalog term for click beetle family elateridae

  • Hello Orly, thanx for the info 🙂

  • w

    hi estan! gi unsa nimu ug pc2r a m b8les..??..pag prsrvd ilang colors..gi unsa gane nimu ug idntfy down to species level..??
    nahirapan aq kc mg id kc d q na prsrv ng maaus lalo na ung m maliliit., uq mg disect chekn 8 out w/ d coleoptera taxonomic keys & kulang rfrncs ng sql namin..

    4 short, can u help me..?hihi

    nga pla..mas nice if mi sizes a m px…

  • w, its not really that hard. send me an email via the contact form.

  • w

    w hir! u r goin 2 help me?…seen my number?hhihi

  • melody


    as of this writing i have a ‘salagubang’ on my lcd monitor. i found it outside my office and brought it in as a guest. like bring your pet to the office .. hehehe. will let it go after office though.

    kept seeing it so i surfed to look for its english term and i stumbled upon at your site – it’s a good thing 🙂 because i like insects, specially “bugs”. i feel so excited to see them specially the bright colored ones.

    i like your site because all these beetles are found here locally and so informative.

    i would like to ask your permission if i can add your gallery to my facebook account.


    btw, do you have a group or like an organization of insect enthusiasts?

  • thanx melody. it would be better if you can send a photo 🙂

    I’m not sure if there’s a group of insect enthusiasts though.

  • Ronald


    Three days ago may naligaw rin dito sa loob ng bahay namin na Salagubang. We placed it sa may bintana in a shallow saucer hoping na it would fly off, pero two days na and andun pa. My kids, not knowing what to do placed leaves dun sa platito and lightly sprayed it with water, then yesterday morning wala na – isip ko either namatay and nawalis na or lumipad na.

    Now we have some indoor plants na intended to teach my kids how to care for plants and just a few hours ago I noticed this! (pic link) nag bahay/burrow yung salagubang sa planting medium.


    Nagbabaon ba talaga sa lupa ang Salagubang, or maybe dahil nagkataon lang na dried coconut fibers (tsibog) instead na lupa kaya ganun.

    Anyway, nice site 🙂 Just like Melody, naisip ko lang hanapin kung ano iba pang names ng Salagubang – I was really hoping for something awesome like “Crouching Tiger strikes the moon beetle” but I suppose we’ll just stick with Salagubang.


  • besq

    hello po ask ko lang po kung anu ung sci name ng karaniwang salagubang na nakikita sa punong mangga at panu nagiging pest ang mga to? anung part ng punong mangga un affected? can these beetles/ larvae be considered an economically important pests of mango since they are frequently found in mango trees? pasensya n po damng tanung curious lang po..
    thanks =)

  • its a known pest of mango and attacks the leaves.

  • helen

    Hi! Nice to see somedody, a cebuano, like me with so much interest in insects. by the way, i’m a science research specialist here in batangas and am looking for the a literature or any research regarding the nutritional value of macrophysis luzona larva? It is a known fact that these larva are very nutritive however I have not seen any scientific journals that supports the claim. There are journals for oryctes rhinoceros but not the macrophysis luzona. Thanks!

  • Helen,

    Thanx for visiting salagubang.net. Regarding your question, unfortunately, I haven’t really encountered any other literature on M. luzona.

  • Bryan

    How to fight each salagubang

  • Mhai

    Hey! Nakakita ako ng salgubang (named Mary, don’t know if that’s girl or boy.. hehehe..) hindi ko alam what kind of beetle yun eh.. me parang tower (sorry hindi ko alam pano idescribe eh.. hehe) siya sa head niya.. anu kinakain ng ganun? tskce my friend told me na pwede daw ibenta ung klase na ganun.. watcha think?

  • do send me a photo, Mhai. Check your email.

  • Regina

    Hello, i saw a salagubang, and i dont know if it is pooping or giving a birth, can u help me to identify pooping to giving a birth?

  • Larsjohnmatthew

    Ang salagubang girl ay maliit ang malake ay boy.

  • salagubang lays eggs.

  • Mark Anthony

    Bro, what is the difference between “salagubang” and
    “salaginto”? Well, I’m aware that “salagubang” is called June Beetle and the latter is Green June Beetle. Is the “salagubang” edible, too? Or are they just the same species, the latter just having some rare pigment change similar to albinism in mammals? It’s rare to see one that’s why I ask.

  • Salagubang is generally from the families Scarabaedae and typically involve subfamilies Rutelinae, Scarabaeinae and Melolonthinae. For Salaguinto, these are the shine ones of the subfamily Rutelinae. 🙂

  • Kim Bien Park

    Gwin mo Kuha ka ng babaeng salagubang at dlawang lalakeng sa gilid ng babaeng salagubang dapat nasa gitna yun babae para pagagawan nila,,

  • Kim Bien Park

    sa tingin ko naman hndi, kasi yun kaibigan ko meron mangga na puno at maraming salagubang pero hndi naman nauubos yun dahon

  • Kim Bien Park

    talaga pong ganun ang salagubang nagpapailalim sa lupa para maghibernate tapos po lalaki ng lalaki yun salagubang hanggang mgkaroon ng sungay! 🙂

  • Kim Bien Park

    Sure Ba kayong kinakaen ng salagubang yun leaves ? Baka ibang insect lang yun kumakain ng leaves ?

  • ainsley

    anong kinakain nila tae daw o leave

  • jojit

    me and my siblings grew up with mango trees around us. salagubangs live in mango trees. websites say that salagubangs are pests. how come they are? we haven’t seen salagubangs eating green leaves. it seems that they just eat decomposing matters. pictures of supposed salagubang larva seem to be that of a bigger bug called uang. uangs dig deep into coconut trunks. maybe people are just confused between salagubangs and uangs.