Leatherjacket Life Cycle Stages

The four life stages of the lawn leatherjacket and crane fly

Leatherjacket life cycle stages

The leatherjacket lawn pest starts life as an egg. It then hatches as a grub and spends most of it’s time eating the roots of your lawn. In late spring it forms a pupae and then the adults emerge to mate and start the cycle again.
Find out more about leatherjackets and your lawn in my complete guide to Leatherjackets.

2 thoughts on “Leatherjacket Life Cycle Stages

  1. Mr Martin Morris

    The female daddy longlegs can lay as many as 300 eggs, are tiny, elliptical in shape, black, and shiny, and hatch out in about a fortnight. The grubs begin to feed on the plants around them at once, usually within an inch or two below the surface of the soil, though on dull, damp days and at night they may be found above ground nipping through stems at or slightly above the ground level. Leather jackets go through 3 instars before maturing to adults . The pupa is a small grey cylinder. The adult crane fly emerges in July and August and lay their eggs in the ground within 24 hours of hatching by the 2nd instar the Leatherjackets are close to full size of up to 30mm have elongate tubular bodies, greyish brown.


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