Scarabaeidae

Scarabs are generally robust as adults, and range in size from about 0.5 cm to more than 8 cm. They are distinguished by segmented antennae, which terminate in a large club of 3-7 segments that can be expanded like a fan or closed. Adults feed on living or decaying plants, and some species feed on dung. The C-shaped grubs usually have a sclerotized head and large mandibles. Grubs feed on plant material in soil, decaying vegetation, decaying logs, and dung. During the Egyptian Middle Kingdom scarabs were considered to have supernatural powers and were often featured in jewelry. Scarabs carved in stone were used to replace the hearts in Egyptian mummies.

Phyllophaga spp. are attracted to outdoor lights at night, and are often found at windows and door screens in spring and summer. Leaf chafers are often metallic-colored beetles, with head or wings gold- or chrome-colored. Flower scarabs are also brightly colored, and adults are often found on flowers and fruit around residential and commercial buildings. Elephant, Hercules, and rhinoceros beetle are names for scarabs that have large horns as adults. These beetles are among the largest insects; the males of some tropical species are 18 cm long. The atlas beetle, Chalcosoma atlas, is perhaps the largest insect and is found in southern Asia. Hercules beetle, Dynastes tityus, is the largest scarab in the USA; males are about 6 cm long. The elephantbeetles, Strategus spp., are 35-50 mm long, and brown to dark brown. Males have three horns on the pronotum, and the females have two horns.

May beetles, June beetles, Phyllophaga spp. Adults are 1223 mm long, and dark brown to brownish black. The body is usually slightly shiny, and the surface is sometimes covered with dense, pale setae. Eggs are laid in the soil in the spring; fecundity is 25-60 eggs. Larval development includes 3-5 instars, and a life cycle of 2 or 3 years is common for most species. Adults transform from the pupa in late summer or early fall; they emerge from the earthen pupal chamber the following spring. Adults are nocturnal and feed on the foliage of trees and shrubs. Adults of most species are attracted to lights at night. Larvae live in soil and feed on the roots of grasses, shrubs, and vegetable crops.

Maybug, cockchafer, Melolonthamelolontha Adults are about 35 mm long. The body is blackish brown and elytra are brown; antennae are large and branched. Adults feed on foliage and flowers; larvae are called rookworms and found in soil feeding on plant roots. Adults are attracted to lights at night. This species occurs in the UK and continental Europe.

Ten-lined June beetle, Phyllophaga decemlineata Adults are 22-28 mm long. The body is brown and the elytra have broad white stripes; antennal segments are large. Larvae live in soil and feed on decaying organic matter. The adults are often found at lights at night.

Eastern green June beetle, Cotinis nitida Adults are 15-27 mm long, and the body is metallic green, and shiny. The pronotum and elytra are velvety green with the margins yellowish green. Full-grown larvae are 45-48 mm long and 11-12 mm in diameter; the body is yellowish white to greenish blue, and the head is reddish brown. Eggs are deposited in mid to late summer in soil rich in organic matter. Larvae continue to feed until soil temperature drops below about 12 °C; they overwinter deep in soil. In spring, they move close to the soil surface and feed. Larvae complete development in spring and form a subterranean pupal cell; adults emerge in June through August. This species occurs in eastern and midwestern USA. Adults of a related species, the green June beetle, Cotinis mutabilis, are metallic green, and the pronotum is deep green; elytra are pale, reddish brown. The ventral surface of the body and legs is bright metallic green. This species occurs in southwestern USA.

Small June beetles, Serica spp. Adults are 6-10 mm long, and the body is reddish brown to dark brown. Elytra have indistinct, but regularly spaced ridges. Adults resemble Phyllophaga except for their small size and the elytral ridges. Adults feed on the leaves of deciduous trees; they occur in large numbers, and damage ornamental and fruit trees in urban and suburban areas. During the day, they remain in undisturbed sites under leaf litter, and at night they feed on trees and fly to outdoor lights in large numbers.

Hoplia beetle, Hoplia laticollis Adults are 5.9-8.5 mm long; the head and thorax are reddish brown to blackish brown. Elytra are light brown and the surface is coarse; there are pale setae covering the body. The posterior tarsus has a single claw. Larval stages feed on grass roots in the soil. Large numbers ofadults appear in spring and early summer. They are often seen flying low over turfgrass, and at lights at night. The swarming flights over turfgrass last for only a few hours.

Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Adults are 10-11 mm long. The body is metallic green with reddish brown elytra; the abdomen has patches of white setae. Eggs are laid singly in the upper layer of soil of turfgrass in May, June, and July. Females are usually inseminated as they first emerge from the soil, and begin to lay eggs soon after mating. Fecundity is 4060 eggs over a 4-6-week life span. Hatching occurs in 10-14 days. Development time for the first-stage larva is 2-3 weeks, and 3-4 weeks for the second-stage larva. Third-stage larvae continue to feed in the fall and are nearly full-grown before winter. They overwinter 5-15 cm below the soil surface, but some move deeper. Grubs move to the top layer of soil in the spring, and feed for 4-8 weeks on grass roots. They pupate in an earthen cell; the pupal stage lasts 7-17 days, and adults remain in the pupal cell for 2-14 days. Adults fly during the day, and aggregate on trees and shrubs. Plant species in the rose family are preferred. In the USA, adults emerge in May in southern Georgia, early to mid-June in North Carolina and Kentucky, and in July inMassachusetts. There is one generation per year throughout most of its range in the USA, but in some northern regions, a portion of the population takes 2 years to complete a generation.

This species is native to Japan, but it was introduced to the USA about 1911, possibly as grubs in soil around rhizomes of Japanese iris. It occurs naturally only on the main island of Japan. In Japan itis a minor agricultural pest, probably because there are limited amounts of turfgrass habitatand the presence of several natural enemies. Outbreaks of P. japonica occur in northern Japan where turfgrass has increased in urban areas. In the USA itis established in all states east of the Mississippi river, except for Florida.

Forty-nine species of natural enemies of P. japonica and related scarabs from Asia and Australia have been released into northeastern USA. Only a few became established: Tiphia vernalis, a tiphid wasp that parasitizes overwintered grubs in the spring; T. popilliavora, which attacks young grubs in late summer; and Istocheta aldrichi, a tachinid fly that parasitizes newly emerged adults. Females of T. vernalis use species-specific larval odor and frass in the turfgrass to locate Japanese beetle grubs.

Eastern Hercules beetle, Dynastestitys Adults are 50-65 mm long, and the body is light green and mottled with large black markings. The male has three horns on the thorax; the middle horn, which is the largest, is curved down to meet an upward-curved horn on the head. The female has only a slight tubercle on the head. Larvae live in rotting logs and stumps, particularly in hardwoods. Adults feed on rotting fruitand have an offensive odor. This species occurs in eastern and midwestern USA.

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