The Lion King Wiki
The Lion King Wiki
Physical characteristics
Skin color

Black, blue, brown, green, orange, red, and yellow

Eye color



Spots, stripes, or wings (dependent on type)

Sociocultural characteristics



   Hakuna Matata
   Pride Lands
   Tree of Life


   Honey badgers

Slimy, yet satisfying!
Pumbaa on grubs[src]

Grubs are a species of animal native to Hakuna Matata, the Outlands, the Pride Lands, and the Tree of Life. They are a source of diet for several species, such as honey badgers, meerkats, and warthogs.

Physical characteristics

Grubs consist of many sub-species. Depending on type, they may bear hard shells, wings, or pincers. Some grubs are distinguished by spots or stripes, or even color, as is the case with Utamu.

Sociocultural characteristics

Most grubs live in dark spaces, such as the insides of logs or termite mounds. Some species live together in mixed groups, as is observed in Hakuna Matata. Other grubs, such as Utamu, remain with their own species and only emerge at certain times of the year. Grubs do not appear to be sentient and are seen as a source of food by other species.


The Lion King

Ants appear during the "Circle of Life" musical sequence. Later, Simba chases a grasshopper during Zazu's morning report. When Timon and Pumbaa befriend a Simba, they instruct him to assume their diet of grubs in order to live with them. Though at first hesitant, Simba quickly warms to his new diet. Later, Pumbaa stalks a beetle into an open plain, where he is attacked by Nala.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

As a cub, Kiara frequently chases butterflies. At one point, Timon and Pumbaa offer to share their grubs with her, but she refuses, disgusted. Timon and Pumbaa proceed to argue over whether crunchy or slimy grubs are tastier. In the Outlands, the Outsiders live in a termite mound. Many months later, when Kiara is an adult, she stumbles upon Timon and Pumbaa fighting a flock of birds over grubs. Finally, butterflies appear during the "Upendi" and "Love Will Find a Way" musical sequences.

The Lion King 1½

Timon and Pumbaa feast on grub delicacies in the jungle. At one point, Timon gets into a snail-slurping contest with Simba, which he loses.

The Lion Guard

"Can't Wait to be Queen"

Ono reports that bees are in the path of a herd of elands, and Kiara orders the Lion Guard to divert the herd. However, Kion decides to move the bees instead. This causes the bees to chase the Lion Guard, save Bunga, who begins eating the bees and their honey.

"The Search for Utamu"

When the Lion Guard stumbles across Mapema Rock, Bunga resolves to hunt for Utamu grubs. Before he can start, the group is called away on another mission, but afterward, Kion agrees to help him find the grubs with Beshte and Ono. At first, the group appears to get lost in their search, but Bunga instructs his friends to follow a group of dung beetles.

Timon and an infant Bunga collect Utamu grubs

While following the dung beetles, Bunga tells his friends about the day he'd met his uncles, Timon and Pumbaa. Long ago, when he'd just been a young honey badger, he'd encountered Timon and Pumbaa singing "Utamu". Instantly smitten, Bunga had begun following them around until Timon had instructed him to climb a tree and fetch them some Utamu grubs. When Bunga had succeeded and given the grubs to Timon, the meerkat had allowed him to stay, and the three have lived together ever since.

After the story, Bunga attempts to climb a long-dead tree to fetch some Utamu for his uncles, but the branch breaks due to the decay, and the Utamu fall into the river below. Heartbroken, Bunga returns to his uncles and admits that he's failed to catch any Utamu. Timon gently reminds the honey badger that they celebrate not because of the Utamu, but because of their relationship with Bunga. They then reveal that Utamu grubs had "fallen out of the sky", and the group shares in a feast of grubs.

"Too Many Termites"

Termites overrun the Lair of the Lion Guard

When the Lion Guard accidentally drives the aardwolves from the Pride Lands, the termite population spikes. The Lion Guard is lounging in the Lair of the Lion Guard when they notice that the den has become overrun with termites. Bunga is delighted with this turn of events and proceeds to eat every termite he can get his paws on. In the middle of Bunga's feast, Ono flies in and informs the team that a tree near Mekundu Cliffs is about to collapse with a colony of bats inside. Together, they rush out of the lair to save the bats.

Along the way, the Lion Guard crosses a log, which snaps and falls into a ravine behind them. The team wonders why it would do such a thing, since it has always been able to hold their weight before, but Kion reminds his friends that they have no time to lose. They proceed to the tree, where Bunga climbs inside the trunk and wakes up the bats. No sooner have the bats flown out when the tree collapses, and the Lion Guard realizes that the termites have been the source of the collapsing trees. Just then, all the other trees in Mekundu Cliffs collapse, and Kion resolves to ask his father about the situation.

Termites collapse the trees near Mekundu Cliffs

Once the Lion Guard reaches Pride Rock, Simba suggests that the team ask the aardwolves about the problem. When Fuli questions what an aardwolf is, Simba explains that aardwolves keep the termite population under control. Kion asks where they can find the aardwolves, and Simba suggests that they look in old aardvark dens, since that is the aardwolf's favorite place to sleep. Fuli and Kion immediately begin to suspect that the problem is their fault, and Kion learns from his father that aardwolves strongly resemble hyenas. This confirms Kion's fears, and he admits to his father that he had used the Roar of the Elders to drive the aardwolves out of the Pride Lands. Simba gently tells his son that he has made a mistake and encourages him to do his best to fix the problem.

Eventually, the Lion Guard reconciles with the aardwolves, who return to the Pride Lands and bring the termite population under control.

"Rescue in the Outlands"

Tsetse flies plague a herd of cape buffalo

A herd of cape buffalo stampede across the Pride Lands, fleeing a cloud of tsetse flies, while the Lion Guard attempts to calm them. In the midst of the chase, Ono points out that tsetse flies detest water, and Kion orders the team to steer the herd to a nearby water source. After clearing Thurston the zebra and his herd from their path, the Lion Guard successfully leads the cape buffalo to a watering hole, where the tsetse flies are warded off. Afterward, the Lion Guard finds Mbeya upside down in a dry ditch. Beshte frees Mbeya, who laments having rolled into the dry steam bed to escape the tsetse flies, and the team escorts him back to the watering hole.

Later, the Lion Guard finds themselves plagued by tsetse flies. In frustration, Beshte orders the flies to leave, and to the team's shock, the cloud disappears. Just then, Thurston and his herd appear, seeking a new watering hole, and Ono realizes that the zebras have been the ones driving off the tsetse flies. This gives Kion an idea, and he and the rest of the Lion Guard decide to escort Mbeya and the zebras to a new watering hole.

The tsetse flies avoid Thurston due to his stripes

Not long after, Madoa reaches the Lion Guard and relates to them that Jasiri is in trouble. Kion attempts to lead his team in rescue, but they get caught in a cloud of tsetse flies, which prevents them from moving quickly. Kion suggests that Thurston accompany them to ward off any remaining flies, and the zebra agrees to his request, hoping to "earn a new stripe" for his bravery.

After the rescue, the Lion Guard thanks Thurston for his help, which leads Thurston to believe that he has been invited to join the Lion Guard. He excitedly announces his new status to his herd while the Lion Guard looks on in amusement. Just then, the tsetse flies reappear, and the team decides to hang out with the zebras. Bunga snacks on the flies, commenting that the team must really miss the zebras.

"The Ukumbusho Tradition"

A swarm of bees chases elephants who are wearing paint made from yellow flowers.

"The Scorpion's Sting"

Sumu the scorpion is recruited by Scar to sting Simba as part of the latter's plan to overtake the Pride Lands. When Sumu first appears in the volcano, Janja is afraid of him and knocks into Kiburi and Reirei in an effort to avoid his venom. Scar informs his allies that Sumu will take down Simba, then sends him off on his mission.

Sumu prepares to sting Simba

Sumu climbs Pride Rock while the Pride Landers attend the Kumbuka celebration. During the event, Sumu stings Simba, causing him to collapse. Sumu flees to the Outlands, but Ono spots him and suspects him of being the cause of Simba's ailment. The Lion Guard chases after Sumu, but when Kion pounces on him, Sumu escapes down a hole. Ono investigates from above and sees Sumu escape out the other end of the tunnel into the Outlands.

Sumu returns to the volcano, where Scar praises him for his work. Scar then commands Ushari to prepare for the Lion Guard, as he believes they will come to the volcano to fetch ash, a cure for Simba's ailment. Confused, Sumu asks why Scar would want the Lion Guard to come to the volcano, and Scar answers that they are setting a trap.

"Marsh of Mystery"

Bunga snacks on snails in the marsh, which leads to the local mongooses attacking him in rage. After the misunderstanding is abated, Bunga stops eating snails, and the mongooses feast on snails that are uncovered under a log.

"The Tree of Life"

When the Lion Guard reaches the mountain pass, Bunga climbs up the walls and tries to eat a bee hive. However, he accidentally causes a rockslide that blocks up the pass.

"The River of Patience"

Bunga continues to eat grubs at the water hole. While Fuli is annoyed at his loud chewing, Baliyo comments that Bunga is rather quiet for a honey badger. He then reveals that he is friends with another honey badger named Binga. Baliyo leads Bunga to Binga, who swiftly befriends him and beats him in a grub-eating contest. Bunga promises to think up another competition for them to try.

Types of grubs

Notable grubs



Television series

Video games


Short stories


Magazine stories