June Beetle

Green June Bug

Green June Beetle photo by Bridgette Phillips

Green June Beetle, Cotinis nitida

June Beetles are a quite impressive beetle measuring 3/4 to 1 inch long and around 1/2 inch wide.  The June Beetle

June Beetles prefer ripe or overripe fruit of they have a choice.  However they also like to eat grapes, corn, kale, peaches, raspberry, blackberry, apple, pear, quince, plum, prune, apricot, and nectarine, and frequently feed as well on the sap of oak, maple, and other trees. June Beetles also like to drink pollen from flowers. June Beetle larva eat roots of grasses, alfalfa, vegetables, tobacco, ornamental plants, and many other plants.  The larvae feed on other materials also such as, well rotted manure, compost piles or organic matter in the soil.

Life Cycle 

June Beetles overwinter as larvae that is almost mature in the soil.  In the spring they feed and finish maturing by pupating in a cell in the soil.  The majority of beetles emerge in the middle of June. They may remain active through early October. The June beetle lays its eggs in late summer.  The female prefers the lay its eggs in soil that is high in organic or humus or in sandy soil. The June Beetle burrows 6 to 8 inches below the surface to lay it’s eggs.  Each female lays approximately 75 eggs.  It only takes the eggs about 2 weeks to hatch.  The larvae feed on organic matter in the soil. June beetle grubs are very easily identifiable as they move about on their backs from one location to another at night.  The only other grub that moves on his back like this is Euphoria also called bumble flower beetle.  When you touch June Beetles they will curl up in a C shape as most grubs from the scarab family.  June beetles have one generation per year.

Adult June beetles like to soar over the grass in the morning, resting for a while in the grass at daybreak.  The males like to soar over the grass in the mid to late mornings.

There is a black and blue wasp that is a natural predator of the Green June Beetle.  It is the Scolia dubia wasp, also called the bluewinged wasp,  and is about one inch  long and black and blue in color.  The back half of the abdomen is brown and fuzzy with two large yellow spots. The wasp hovers over the ground where the june beetle larvae is located and goes to the ground stings it, paralyzing it, and lays it’s eggs in it.  When the eggs hatch they consume the larvae.


Heterorhabditis bacteriophora -A beneficial parasitic nematode.

Beauveria bassiana – This is a fungus that is naturally occurring.  It acts like a parasite to the insects that are targeted. Therefore it acts like an entomopathogenic fungus.This is a natural soil occurring fungi that is found in soils. It acts as a parasite to insects.  Once the droplets touch the targeted insects, they attach to the insects skin and germinate by sending out structures or hyphae that penetrate the insects body.  The insects die within 3 to 5 days. The dead insects body can be a source of spores as well. This should be done in the cooler parts of the day.


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