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In order to obtain information on the biology of the masked chafer Cyclocephala pasadenae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), and to determine the date when 50% of the population is captured in light traps, field data were obtained during 4 years in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Capture of the 50% of the masked chafer population occurred approximately during the third week of July, of this one-generation per year insect. To reduce the need for intensive sampling and to obtain a predictable model for the capture of this pest, data were analyzed using trapezoidal numerical integration to estimate both a lower threshold and degree-days to predict the 50% capture date. A mathematical model based on field data accounted for the influence of natural environmental conditions on development, and predicted 50% capture dates within 1–4 days of what was actually observed from the field. The difference between predictions from field data is smaller than using estimates from laboratory-controlled experiments. The model presented here could serve as an accurate estimator of the appropriate timing to implement control measures of this important turfgrass pest.