Daphne
Full Member
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:47 am
Location: Kansas

HUGE Beetle...Friend or foe?

Right now, I am putting this in the 'foe' category unless I hear differently from one of you experts!!

I opened my front door this morning to find this creepy crawly thing on the INSIDE of my screen porch. Keep in mind that is 1/2' hail screen that the beetle is crawling up. So he is a full inch long and at least 3/4' wide.It is black with a green back. I have never seen one of these, much less anything this big in the way of beetles. He looks big enough to devour an entire garden!

[img]https://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/d3inks/bigbug.jpg[/img][/img]

Any ideas of what kind he is?

By the way, he is dead now. He checked into the bug hotel and won't be checking out if you get my drift. :wink:

TheLorax
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Posts: 1416
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:40 am
Location: US

I think that might have been friend not foe. Might be some sort of a Calosoma. I'm not all that up on beetles but maybe a Calosma scrutator-
https://bugguide.net/node/view/72692/bgimage
Don't take this ID to the bank or anything because there are over 150 species of Calosma. Some of the C. scrutator beetle's favorite foods are soft bodied larvae... the kind that munch on our plants. In other words, these beetles don't devour the garden... the devour what devours the garden. Odd that he greeted you on your door. They're mostly night time feeders which is why they are rarely seen by people.

If you hung onto the beetle after you killed it, you can send it here for a positive ID-
https://www.mediarelations.k-state.edu/WEB/News/Webzine/0204/bugid.html

This is usually quicker since you know how to post photos-
https://bugguide.net/node/view/6/bgimage

Daphne
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Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:47 am
Location: Kansas

I'm almost positive that the first picture you posted is not the same as the one that was on my screen porch. The back of this beetle was not irresdecent at all. However, the underside appears to be.

I did some googling and I think it may be a "Green June Beetle", not any relation to a june bug. From what I read, they are very destructive to fruits and are attracted by composted manure. I just put 160 lbs of composted manure in my garden this year. The only fruit I have planted are cantaloupe and they have not developed to the melon stage yet. They can also be very destructive to turf. In their larva stage, the are white grubs.

I think this is what was on my porch....but thanks for answering my post!
[url]https://iaa.umd.edu/umturf/Insects/Green_June_Beetle.html#Damage[/url]

opabinia51
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Location: Victoria, BC

I initially thought June Beetle but, I don't know them very well and haven't seen one in the wild (yet). But, as always, I advise to not get to upset about finding certain insects in your yard.

If you have an inffestation of them, then you can worry.

Try to balance out what you put in your yard. If you know that composted manure attracts them, then add large amounts of some sort of brown to offset the chemical attractant from the manure. You will build better soil anway.

Research what the predators of June Beetles are, I would presume that they would be birds so, plant a bunch of Sunflowers and other avian attracting plants to attract birds to your yard that will eat these insects.

Gardening is all about balance.

Yes, "Bugs" are a particular order of insects (Class insecta under the phylusm Arthropoda). Anyway, if memory servers the order is Hemiptera. Generally people refer to all insects as bugs but, in scientific nomenclature if you refer to something as a bug (stink bug, june bug, etc) you are referring to a particular order. Beetles are under the order Coleoptera.

Anyway, that is why there is a difference between June Bug and June Beetle.

Probably a bit longer post than your were expeciting! Anyway, I hope this helps!

Have fun gardening.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

TheLorax
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Posts: 1416
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:40 am
Location: US

Making me work to earn my keep here at THG are you ;)

Sorry, I can’t upload photos so this is the best I can do. The first photo is an enlargement of your beetle- https://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2100593250103590453jhfMid
The second photo is edited to better help one focus on identifying characteristics-
https://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2041617110103590453nZYWps

Regarding the iridescence, depends on the lighting and your beetle was backlit. The beetle you photographed is a long legged beetle. They’re designed for speed. A Green June Beetle is more designed for tunneling. Here’s a decent image of a Cotinus nitida (Green June Bug)-
https://www.ento.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/greenjunebeetle.htm
The beetle you photographed also has long antennae. The GJB has very short (insignificant) antennae that end in a club shape. Your beetle is definitely a Carabid not a Scarab in that yours has the classic narrow head, strong mandibles (all the better to eat juicy larvae and scrumptious caterpillars with), and hard wing covers that meet in a straight line at the center of the back with many fine parallel ridges running lengthwise. That particular door screen grid you photographed your beetle on was perfect. I’m familiar with the size of the squares and they told me your beetle was just a little bit over an inch long. Green June Beetles are generally around ¾ of an inch however they can be slightly longer.

Please take another look at your photo which I enlarged. Here’s another photo for comparison of telltale markings-
https://bugguide.net/node/view/72695/bgimage
Now please read the below. Note the color markings of the head and prothorax (the anterior division of the thorax of an insect, bearing the first pair of legs), femora (the third segment of the leg of an insect, counting from the base, situated between the trochanter and the tibia), and the elytra (one of the pair of hardened forewings of certain insects, as beetles, forming a protective covering for the posterior or flight wings) I think you will find the description below to be a dead match to your beetle which is classified as highly beneficial whilst the Green June Beetle is classified as a pest-
Description 1-1 3/8" (25-36 mm). Black with dark greenish gold on sides of head and prothorax. Bluish luster on femora. Elytra greenish or blackish blue, edged with gold, fine lengthwise grooves and lines of elongate pits. Male has reddish hair inside curved middle tibiae and hind tibiae. From above, prothorax appears broadly oval, constricted before base of the elytra.
You definitely have photographed a Calosoma and I’m pretty sure you photographed a Calosoma scrutator and it appears to be a male.

Daphne
Full Member
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:47 am
Location: Kansas

Wow!!!!!!! :shock: You really did your homework! You've convinced me!
So then, does this mean that I probably shouldn't have killed it? It just looked so feroucious! And it was Sunday morning before I had had my coffee so I wasn't thinking straight. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :lol:

TheLorax
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Posts: 1416
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:40 am
Location: US

You did what came naturally to you. You freaked and killed it. Let s/he who has not freaked and killed a bug be the first to throw a stone.

Yes, you killed ONE (1) beneficial but what about all the people out there peppering their plants with chemicals who are routinely killing beneficials mulling around scratching their heads wondering why they have such sickly plants? I guess those billions of dead beneficials don't count because the people who killed them didn't see the consequences of their actions. Out of sight and out of mind.

I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't lose any sleep over this. It's not like that's a threatened or endangered species and even if it was... it was an honest mistake.

Also too, they don't "bite" people or pets. They aren't even poisonous.

I had fun with your post. Thanks for starting this thread and thanks for such a good clear photo. Got me thinking about things I take for granted and got me to sign up for a webshots album which is going to come in handy for me because I need to identify a sedge I dug up today.

57ChevyChick
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Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:18 am
Location: MO

D in Kansas.....I live in Mo. and the other day I saw one of those beetle run across my driveway...biggest darn beetle I've ever seen !! He was running so fast he was under my deck before I knew it !!!! Glad to hear it is a "good" bug ! I hope I don't see anymore of them...good bug or not !!! Scared me to death !!!! LOL 57ChevyChick

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