Ten-lined June beetle (hissing beetles, watermelon beetles)
I found this huge beetle upside down, legs flailing, on my office carpet struggling to right itself. Talk about taking the wrong turn! I had no idea what kind of beetle it was other than it was big, and not too smart. Research was in order, so this is what I found out.
It is a Ten-lined June beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata) and it’s Native to North America. This large 1 inch (2.5) brown scarab beetle bears distinctive numerous white lines down its back. When disturbed it makes a hissing sound, although I didn’t hear anything when I retrieved it from my office. Maybe it was just too verklempt.
Their larva are similar to chafer beetle larva, as they are close relatives. The C-shaped grubs grow up to 2 inches with creamy white bodies and 3 pairs of legs situated near their brown heads. The grubs live in the soil and feed on plant roots. Infested plants wilt, even with adequate water, and are stunted.
The adults are nocturnal and hide among the plants during the day, but they do not feed on them. At dusk they seek out mates then hover around lights come nighttime. The adults emerge in late June through July in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. To control cultivate the soil to expose the grubs, discarding them as you go. The birds and other critters will help you control them as they seem to think they are quite tasty.
Here are some of my previous blog postings. They cover a wide range of topics from bugs to my botanical excursions and conventions. Click on whichever interests you on the titles below for easy navigation.