Japanese Beetle photographed by Stephanie Libby and Dr. John Pickering


Author : Stephanie Libby

Family : Scarabaeidae



Distinctive antennae with a total of 8-11 segments. The antennae are expanded laterally into oval lobes that can be tightly closed. Scarabaeidae have variable body forms, but are usually oval, stout, and heavy bodied with most species between 2-20 mm. Species of subfamily have distinctive tarsal claws of unequal length on back legs. Some members of the subfamily Rutelinae are very colorful, but all can be distinguished by the position of the spiracles and the fact that they have tarsal claws of unequal length on the hind legs (Leconte and Horn, 1883).

Species : A list of Species within the Subfamily Rutelinae


Popillia japonica (Newman) and Pelidnota punctata (Linne) are very easily distinguished from one another and from the remaining species in Rutelina. Popillia japonica (Newman) is an unmistakable shinning (almost metallic) green and bronze colour while Plusiotis gloriosa is a pale green colour with a polished gold colour on the margins of the body and on the elytra. The remaining species in the subfamily Rutelina can be distinguished using the Key Manual of the Genera of Beetles of America North of Mexico.

General Information

The family Scarabaeidae has about 120 genera and 1375 species widely distributed throughout North America. There are four stages to their development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The larva (also known as white grubs) feed on roots in the soil they inhabit. Larvae and adults may live in burrows or nests of mammals and may feed on anything from sap, fungus, or rotten wood to carrion or dung.



White, R. E. 1983, A Field Guide to the Beetles of N.America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.


Bradley, J.C. 1930 A Manual of the Genera of Beetles of America North of Mexico. Daw, Illston & Co. Ithaca, N.Y.

LeConte, J.C. and Horn, G.H. 1883. Classification of N. American Coleoptera. Smithonian Institute, Washington

Jaques, H.E. 1951. How to Know the Beetles. WM.C. Brown Company. Dubuque, Iowa.

Crowson, R.A. 1967. The Natural Classification of the Families of Coleoptera. E.W. Classey ltd. Middlesex, England.

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