Can you indentify this beetle?
September 5, 2009
I have seen a number of these beetles on one tree in our yard. I’m fairly sure it’s a variety of oak but I don’t know which sort. The beetles are eating a white milky sap that is oozing from the bark. I’m trying to figure out whether these beetles are damagingbthe tree.
East Texas just north of Interstate 20
Though we are certain that the genus on your beetle is Cotinis, we are torn with the species. Texas is included in the range of the western Figeater, Cotinis mutabilis, as well as the eastern Green June Beetle, Cotinis nitida. The Figeater is generally found later in the year in August and September, while the Green June Beetle generally flies in July. The Figeater is listed on BugGuide as eating “ripe fruit and sometimes sap”, and the Green June Beetle is listed on BugGuide as eating ripening fruit and leaves. The fact that this sighting was made in East Texas inclines us toward the Green June Beetle, but the time of year and food source incline us toward the Figeater. Regarding your question about damaging the tree, we would say that the beetle is not causing damage, but is benefiting from damage potentially caused by some wood boring insects.