Japanese beetle

(Popillia japonica)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Japanese beetle

NatureServe

NR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Abundant in the seven-county metro, Rochester, and Winona areas.

Flight/Season

Late June to August

Habitat

Anywhere with sufficient foliage

Size

Total Length: to ½

 

Identification

This is a showy, medium-sized, leaf chafer beetle.

Adults are to ½ long and 3 16to ¼ wide. The body is broadly oval, stout, and heavy. Females are slightly larger than males.

The first segment of the thorax is large and is covered above by a metallic green exoskeletal plate (pronotum).

There are five white tufts of hairs on each side of the abdomen and two white tufts at the tip of the last abdominal segment. The hardened outer forewings (elytra) are iridescent bronze or coppery-brown. They are ridged longitudinally and densely pitted. They do not entirely cover the last segment of the abdomen. There is a small, metallic green, triangular plate (scutellum) between the bases of the wings that is not covered by the elytra. The pronotum, elytra, and scutellum are densely pitted.

The head is large and metallic green. It is not concealed beneath the pronotum. The antennae have 9 or 10 segments. When viewed from above the base of the antennae are not visible. The last three segments are expanded sideways on one side into long flattened lobes. The antennal lobes can be closed into a tight club or fanned out to detect odors.

The fourth segment (tibia) of the front leg is broadened and toothed, apparently modified for digging. The tibia of the middle leg has two spurs at the tip. The hind legs are closer to the middle legs than to the tip of the abdomen. The end segment of each leg (tarsus) has 5 sections. The last section of the tarsus all legs ends in a pair of claws of unequal length that can be moved independently. On males the tarsus is inserted at the tip of the tibia. The first tarsal section is short and stout. On females the tarsus is inserted toward the middle of the tibia, well below the tip. The first tarsal section longer and more slender.

First instar larvae (grubs) are about long, second instar about ¾ long, and third instar about 1¼ long. They are white and curled into a C shape. There are three segments of the thorax, each with a pair of legs, and Their bodies are translucent and take on a grayish cast from fecal matter and ingested soil. The anal slit near the end of the abdomen on the underside is crescent-shaped. The spines in front of the anal slit are arranged in a V shape.

 
Similar
Species

False Japanese beetle (Strigoderma arbicola) is not iridescent. The head and thorax are dull metallic green. The wings are brown. It does not have tufts of white hair at the sides or tip of the abdomen.


Larval Food

Roots of a wide variety of plants

 
Adult Food

Leaves of a wide variety of plants

 
Life Cycle

The female burrows about 3 into the soil and lays a few eggs. Between mid-July and early September she will lay 40 to 60 eggs. Several days after being deposited the eggs hatch and the the larvae begin feeding on plant roots. Third-instar larvae overwinter 4 to 8 below the soil surface. They pupate in late spring and emerge about two weeks later as adults in late June. Adults first feed on shrubs and other low-lying plants. Later they move to trees to feed and mate.

From egg to adult, Japanese beetles live one year. Ten months are spent underground as grubs or pupae, only two months aboveground as adults.

 
Behavior

Adults feed on upper leaf surfaces, often in large congregations. They are poor fliers.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 22, 29; Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), Plants, Pests & Pest Control.


Comments

Overview
Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica), native to northern Japan, was first found near Riverton, New Jersey in 1916. Two years later attempts to eradicate it by the USDA failed. It had become established — the population was too large for attempts to control it to be successful. It is now widespread across North America, reported in all of the contiguous 48 states except for Florida. It is well established from Maine to Minnesota south to Arkansas and Georgia.

Japanese beetle is a destructive pest in North America where it has no natural enemies. The larvae feed on roots of grass and other plants, causing damage to lawns, parks, golf courses, and pastures. Adults feed on leaves, flowers, and fruits of several hundred species of plants, including fruit trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, field crops, and vegetable crops. They skeletonize leaves by eating the soft tissue but leaving the larger veins. They have caused 50% to 90% defoliation of birch and cottonwood trees in some neighborhoods of the Twin Cities.

Japanese beetle is a colorful, medium-sized, scarab beetle. It is identified by a metallic green head and thorax, iridescent. bronze or coppery wing covers, and white tufts of hairs at the sides and end of the abdomen.


Taxonomy

Order:

Coleoptera (beetles)

 

Suborder:

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)

 

Infraorder:

Scarabaeiformia

 

Superfamily:

Scarabaeoidea (scarab, stag and bess beetles)

 

Family:

Scarabaeidae (scarab beetles)

 

Subfamily:

Rutelinae (shining leaf chafers)

 

Tribe:

Anomalini

 

Subtribe:

Popilliina

 
Synonyms

Popillia plicatipennis

 
Common
Names

a scarab beetle

Japanese beetle


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

elytra

The hardened forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.

 

tarsus

The last two to five sections of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

       

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  Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica)  
     
  Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica)
Bill Keim
 
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  Popillia punctata (Japanese Beetle)
Allen Chartier
 
  Popillia punctata (Japanese Beetle)  

 

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  Japanese Beetles (Scarabaeidae: Popillia japonica) Showing Elm Leaf Damage
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 6, 2011

Photographed on The Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River north of Red Wing, Minnesota (04 August 2011).

 
     
  Japanese Beetle (Scarabaeidae: Popillia japonica) Feeding Close-up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
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Uploaded on Aug 6, 2011

Photographed on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River north of Red Wing, Minnesota (04 August 2011).

 
     
  マメコガネ Popillia japonica のペア
kiokuima
 
   
 
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Published on Jun 24, 2013

2013年6月24日午後、山口市の山間部で撮影しました。イタドリの葉に多数のペア­が集まっていました。

Google Translate: June 24, 2013 afternoon, was shot in the mountainous area of Yamaguchi. A large number of pairs in the leaves of Polygonum cuspidatum had gathered.

 
     
  Research on controlling Popillia Japonica
Minnesota 4-H
 
   
 
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Published on Jun 26, 2015

Researching on Controlling Popillia Japanica

 
     
  How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles
The University of Maine
 
   
 
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Uploaded on Jul 29, 2010

University of Maine Cooperative Extension discusses what Japanese Beetles are, where you can find them in Maine and what you can do for management of Japanese Beetles.

 
     

 

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