Interesting Facts About June Bugs

Interesting Facts About June Bugs

June bugs are commonly seen in many areas in the United States, as well as other regions of the world which facilitate their living conditions. Take a look at the life cycle and characteristics of this mini-beast, and also read some interesting facts about it.
BiologyWise Staff
Last Updated: Apr 29, 2018
Bug Fact
Exposure to light for longer intervals is responsible for killing June bugs. They are usually found dead in the morning under porch lights and windows.
The original June bugs belong to the genus Phyllophaga, which being a very large genus, consists of more than 260 species. The name Phyllophaga is derived from phyllon, which means leaf in Greek, and phagos, which means eaters. The adults are termed chafers, while the larvae are called grubs. The grubs feed on the roots of grass and plants, whereas, the adult bug feeds on the foliage of trees and shrubs. There are mainly four types of beetles which are popular as June Bugs; Chafer beetle, Japanese beetle, Ten-lined June beetle, and Green June beetle. Out of these, we will discuss two important ones, which are the Chafer beetle and Green June beetle. These two are scientifically classified as June beetles due to their occurrence during the May end to June period. The other varieties apart from the two mentioned above are referred to as June beetles due to their similar appearance and characteristics to the main subtypes.
June bugs/beetles have a very interesting life cycle. Let's take a look at the physical characteristics, diet, and reproduction. Also, don't miss some of the strange, but interesting June bug facts and two basic ways to get rid of these 'backyard pests' mentioned below.
Physical Characteristics
June Beetle
Their size ranges from 12 to 35 millimeters, and their color is blackish to mahogany. They lack any kind of markings, and their under-bodies have more of a hairy texture. They are commonly referred to as 'backyard pests', as they destroy vegetation, and their larvae eat up the roots of plants. These bugs are nocturnal and are attracted to light.

June bugs can fly; you'll see swarms of these near street lamps. Don't ever keep your windows open during the May-June period, or you'll have to spend the next day cleaning the bug mess. Though, even if they do enter your home, they are harmless and won't bite.
Green June Beetle
Now, there's another popular June beetle that's active in the day too. It is commonly referred to as 'Green June Beetle', belongs to the Cotinis genus. The name of this species is Cotinis Nitida. They vary to some extent from the normal June bugs; the fully-grown bug is usually 15 to 22 millimeters. Its head, legs, and under-body is shiny green, while its wings are dull metallic green. There's a slight gold contrast to its sides. These bugs are mainly found in the eastern US, extending from Maine to Georgia, and further to Kansas. These green insects aren't very good for the garden. They feed on fruits and berries. The larvae would nibble on the lawn or the turf grass. So spraying some pesticides in the garden would be a good idea.
Life Cycle
The life cycle of both these beetles is somewhat similar. The female lays about 60 - 75 eggs underground during mid-summer. The egg laying is done in a two-week period. The eggs change from elliptical to a more spherical shape as the larvae inside develop. After around 18 days, the eggs start hatching, and the grubs come out. The grubs are white in color and have a brownish-black head with spiracles along their body. The larval period is divided into 3 stages.

The last larval stage, which is about 9 - 10 months long, ends with the larvae pupating. The larvae molt twice before they pupate. The pupation takes place in earthen hollows under the ground. This stage lasts for three weeks, during which, the brown pupa transforms to a metallic green, gradually assuming its adult form.

Finally, the adults appear during late spring to late summer. Their diet, as compared to the larvae, is lower, but they still prove to be a nuisance. They mostly feed on foliage and fruits.
Interesting Facts
There are several different species that are commonly called June bugs, and these include the Chafer Beetle, Green June Beetle, Japanese Beetle, and the Ten-Lined June Beetle.
June beetle is the common name for several scarab beetles that appear around June in the temperate parts of North America.
These beetles belong to the Scarabaeidae family and are popularly called 'June Bugs' or 'May Bugs', as they appear roughly around late May and throughout June. Over 200 species exist in the United States alone.
They have distinctive, clubbed antennae, which consist of plates called lamellae, that can be compressed into a ball or fanned out like leaves to sense odors.
A natural enemy of the June beetle is the pyrgota fly larva (Pyrgota undata), which feeds on the beetle, eventually killing it.
June beetle larvae (called white grubs) are considered excellent fish bait and are staples in the diets of native people in South America, Australia, and Asia.
These beetles make a tasty food for pet toads and lizards.
Phyllophaga, or the June beetle, is nocturnal, whereas, the Cotinis Nitida, or the Green June beetle, are diurnal.
June bugs are very annoying and cause destruction to vegetation and crops. If you want to get rid of them, use insecticides that mix with the soil. To kill June bugs, you have to destroy their eggs and grubs. Another traditional method is placing an open jar with a white light at its mouth. Pour some vegetable oil at the base. Keep the jar open, so that the bugs, when attracted to light for longer periods, would fall into the oil and would be unable to fly again.