Japanese beetle

(Popillia japonica)

Conservation Status
Japanese beetle
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Japanese beetle is a showy, medium-sized, leaf chafer beetle. It is native to northern Japan. In North America it 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.

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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to ½

 
     
 

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.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Anywhere with sufficient foliage

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late June to August

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

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

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Roots of a wide variety of plants

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Leaves of a wide variety of plants

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 22, 24, 29.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), Plants, Pests & Pest Control.

 
  8/7/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

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

 
         
 
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  
 

Genus

Popillia  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Popillia plicatipennis

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Japanese beetle

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery 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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Mike Poeppe

 
    Japanese beetle      
 

Nanc

 
 

They are already invading my raspberries, beans, pussy willow, borage, basil..........

 
    Japanese beetle   Japanese beetle  
           
    Japanese beetle      
 

Lisa Skemp-Thornton

 
    Japanese beetle      
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    Japanese beetle   Japanese beetle  
           
    Japanese beetle   Japanese beetle  
           
    Japanese beetle   Japanese beetle  
 

Gerry Garcia

 
    Japanese beetle   Japanese beetle  
           
    Japanese beetle   Japanese beetle  
 

Margot Avey

 
    Japanese beetle      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Adult

 
    Japanese beetle   Japanese beetle  
           
    Japanese beetle      
           
 

Leaf Damage of Japanese beetle

 
    Japanese beetle   Japanese beetle  
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Japanese Beetle
DianesDigitals
  Japanese Beetle  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

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

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  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
 
   
 
About

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
 
   
 
About

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
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 26, 2015

Researching on Controlling Popillia Japanica

 
  How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles
The University of Maine
 
   
 
About

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.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Mike Poeppe
7/11/2021

Location: Houston County, MN

Japanese beetle  
  Nanc
7/8/2021

Location: Brooklyn Park, Mn

They are already invading my raspberries, beans, pussy willow, borage, basil..........

Japanese beetle  
  Lisa Skemp-Thornton
8/2/2020

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

I found your website that asked for sightings -- so I'm emailing you. I live in Woodbury, MN and these annoying suckers have been chomping on my marigolds. Any recommendations on how to get rid of them?

Japanese beetle

 
  John Valo
8/3/2020

You can use traps, poison, or both. Spectracide Bag-a Bug Japanese Beetle Traps are available at Walmart for $4.33 or at any home and garden store. Gardener’s Supply Company has an informative Web page about controling these beetles. Here is the link:

How to Control Japanese Beetles

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/2 - 8/4/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

Japanese beetle

 
  Gerry Garcia
8/4/2019

Location: Lyndale Park, Minneapolis, MN

Japanese beetle

 
  Corcoran
Athletic Association
CAA

6/28/2018

Location: Corcoran, MN

Hundreds on a small oak and four year old lilac.

 
  Erica
9/24/2017

Location: Rochester, Minnesota

3-4 groups of 6+ beetles congregated on white flowers on a bush on the south side of the electronic sign located at Bethel Lutheran Church at 810 3rd Ave SE.

 
  Margot Avey
8/31/2017

Location: Duluth, MN

Japanese beetle

 
  Mjampsa
7/25/2017

Location: Maple Grove, MN

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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