June beetles, also dubbed June bugs, are a group of insects belonging to the family Scarabaeidae. These beetles are named after their peak season of activity, which is typically during the month of June in many parts of the world.
There are several different types of June bugs, each with its own unique characteristics and habits. In this article, we will explore the different types of June bugs and how you can identify them.
Different Types of June Bugs
It’s worth noting that “June bug” is a common name that can refer to various species of beetles, some of which may not be strictly limited to the month of June. Additionally, some of these species may be more common in certain regions than others.
1. Amphimallon solstitiale
Amphimallon solstitiale, commonly known as the summer chafer or June beetle, is a species of beetle belonging to the family Scarabaeidae. It is found throughout Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Urals, and is also present in North Africa and western Asia.
The summer chafer is a relatively large beetle, measuring around 20-25 millimeters in length. It is brown in color, with a slightly metallic sheen, and has distinctive mottled markings on its elytra (wing cases).
The larvae of the summer chafer are white grubs that live in the soil, feeding on the roots of various plants. The adults are active during the summer months and can often be seen flying around at dusk.
While the summer chafer is not considered a major pest, its larvae can cause damage to turf grass and other plants. However, the adults are beneficial pollinators, helping to fertilize a variety of flowering plants.
2. Green June Beetle
The Green June Beetle (Cotinis nitida) is a type of scarab beetle that is commonly found in the eastern United States, from Maine to Florida and west to Texas. They are named for their bright metallic green color and are often seen flying around in the daytime during the summer months.
Adult Green June Beetles are about an inch long and have a distinctive oval shape. Their bodies are covered in shiny green hues that can sometimes appear golden or bronze. They have brownish-orange eyes and long, spiny legs that help them climb trees and plants.
Green June Beetles are typically considered pests because their larvae can damage lawns and gardens. The larvae, known as white grubs, feed on the roots of grasses and other plants, which can cause significant damage to lawns and other turf areas.
Despite their status as pests, Green June Beetles are also important pollinators. They feed on the nectar of flowers and help pollinate a wide variety of plant species, including fruits and vegetables.
In terms of control measures, there are several options available for controlling Green June Beetle larvae in lawns and gardens. These include applying nematodes or other natural predators, using insecticides, or taking steps to improve soil health and promote healthy plant growth.
3. May Beetle
The May beetle, also known as the June beetle or the June bug, is a type of scarab beetle that belongs to the family Scarabaeidae. They are commonly found in North America, Europe, and Asia.
May beetles are typically brown or black in color and have a stout, oval-shaped body that can range from 1 to 1.5 inches in length. They have two pairs of wings, with the front wings being hardened into a protective covering for the hind wings. Adult May beetles are active during the spring and summer months and can be found flying around at night, attracted to light sources.
May beetles lay their eggs in soil, and the larvae, also known as white grubs, feed on the roots of plants and turfgrass. They can be a significant pest for gardeners and farmers, as their feeding can damage crops and lawns.
Despite being considered a pest, May beetles have a role in their ecosystem as they contribute to nutrient cycling in the soil and are a food source for birds and other predators.
4. Ten-lined June Beetle
The ten-lined June beetle, also known as the watermelon beetle, is a species of scarab beetle that is commonly found in North America. Here are ten interesting facts about these types of June bugs:
- The ten-lined June beetle gets its name from the ten black stripes that run down its back.
- Adult beetles are large, measuring up to 1.25 inches in length.
- They are typically active at night and are attracted to light.
- The beetles feed on a variety of plants, including corn, roses, and fruit trees.
- The larvae, known as white grubs, are considered pests because they feed on the roots of grasses and other plants.
- The grubs can cause significant damage to lawns, golf courses, and agricultural fields.
- Ten-lined June beetles are often used as fishing bait.
- A variety of animals—including raccoons, skunks, and birds—eat them.
- The beetles have a short lifespan, with adults living for barely more than 10 months.
- Despite their large size, ten-lined June beetles are relatively harmless and do not bite or sting humans.
5. The Masked Chafer
The masked chafer is a type of beetle in the Scarabaeidae family that is found in North America. They are named for the distinctive mask-like markings on their heads. These beetles are considered pests because their larvae feed on the roots of grass, which can cause significant damage to lawns, golf courses, and other turfgrass areas.
The masked chafer has a life cycle that begins with adult beetles emerging from the soil in the summer. The beetles mate and lay their eggs in the soil, and the larvae hatch and begin feeding on the roots of grass plants. The larvae overwinter in the soil and continue feeding on roots in the spring. In the summer, the larvae pupate and eventually emerge as adult beetles, starting the cycle anew.
Controlling masked chafer populations typically involves treating the soil with insecticides targeted at the larvae. This can be done in the spring or fall when the larvae are actively feeding on roots. Additionally, maintaining healthy turfgrass through proper watering and fertilization practices can help reduce the likelihood of masked chafer damage.
6. The European Chafer
The European chafer (Rhizotrogus majalis) is a type of June beetle. The term “June beetle” is used to refer to a group of beetles in the genus Phyllophaga, which includes several species commonly found in North America, but it can also refer to other closely related beetle species from other parts of the world, such as the European chafer.
Like other June beetles, the European chafer is a scarab beetle and has a similar life cycle, with the adult beetles emerging in late spring or early summer, typically in June or July, hence the common name “June beetle.”
Adult European chafers are approximately 1/2 inch in length and are reddish-brown in color. They have distinctive, fan-shaped antennae and spiny legs.
European chafers have a one-year life cycle. Adults emerge from the soil in late May or early June, mate, and lay their eggs in the soil. The eggs hatch into white grubs, which feed on the roots of grass plants throughout the summer and fall. In the fall, the grubs burrow deeper into the soil to overwinter. The following spring, they move closer to the surface to feed before pupating and emerging as adults in late May or early June.
7. The Grapevine Beetle
The grapevine beetle (Pelidnota punctata) is a species of beetle belonging to the family Scarabaeidae, also known as the Spotted June beetle or Spotted Pelidnota. They are found in North America, mainly in the eastern and central parts of the continent.
Grapevine beetles are relatively large beetles, measuring about 2.5 cm (1 inch) in length. They are typically brownish-yellow in color, with several distinct black spots on their wing covers. The adult beetles feed on the leaves of grapevines, as well as other types of plants, while their larvae feed on rotting wood.
Despite their name, grapevine beetles do not pose a significant threat to grape crops. However, they can be a nuisance in gardens and ornamental plantings. They are not considered pests and do not require any control measures. In fact, grapevine beetles can be beneficial to the ecosystem as they help to break down dead wood and other organic matter, which contributes to soil health.
8. Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles are not members of the June beetle family. However, they made this list as they are most active from late May to early June. This is when adult beetles emerge from the soil and begin to feed on plants and trees. During this time, they are most likely to cause damage to lawns, gardens, and agricultural crops. However, the exact timing of the Japanese beetle’s activity can vary depending on the location and weather conditions. In some areas, they may be more active earlier or later in the season.
Related Article: How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles
9. The Figeater Beetle
The figeater beetle (Cotinis mutabilis) is a type of scarab beetle that is commonly found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. These beetles are often iridescent green or gold in color and have distinctive markings on their wings. They are also known for their loud, buzzing flight.
Figeater beetles are herbivorous and feed on a variety of fruits, including figs, peaches, and grapes. They are considered pests by many farmers and gardeners because they can cause significant damage to crops.
In addition to their ecological and agricultural significance, figeater beetles are also popular as pets in some parts of the world. In Japan, for example, they are sometimes kept as “rhinoceros beetles” and entered into beetle fighting competitions.
Overall, figeater beetles are fascinating insects that play an important role in their respective ecosystems.
Different Types of June Bugs, Conclusion
In conclusion, June bugs are a diverse group of beetles that are found in different regions around the world. They have a variety of appearances, colors, and habits that make them fascinating insects to study.
From the ten-lined June beetle to the bright green fig-eating June beetle, each species has its own unique characteristics. While some of these beetles can be considered pests due to their feeding habits, they also play an important role in the ecosystem as decomposers and pollinators. As we continue to learn more about the different types of June bugs, we can better appreciate their significance in the natural world.