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- is about an inch in length
- has short feelers on its black head and
- has a hairy body
- has non-hairy reddish-brown wing cases (when seen with the naked eye)
Melolontha melolontha has a similar-looking but smaller relative that appears later in the year called the summer chafer (Amphimallon solstitialis). This is on average about half an inch in length and also has a hairy body under reddish-brown wing cases but has long sparsely arranged hairs (when seen with a hand lens or magnifying glass).