Subject: June Bug (figeater?) Frenzy!
Location: Tucson, AZ
July 31, 2013 3:41 pm
The Student Union at the University of Arizona (Tucson) has been taken over by these little green guys. I’m not sure why they love the building so much, we don’t have any fig trees around here.
There are at least 2 every 10 feet as you walk through the breezeways and outdoor corridors of the building — dead or alive. This one wall is covered!
(sorry for the poor quality phone photos)
You are correct that these are Figeaters or Green Fruit Beetles, Cotinis mutabilis. According to BugGuide: “Adults feed on ripe fruit and sometimes sap.” The lack of figs in the area would not necessarily prevent such a healthy population of Figeaters. Though we expect that they do not prefer citrus, they are quite fond of peaches, plums and many other fruits that might be found nearby on your campus. If there is some type of organic compost or recently mulched landscaping, there might have been a large population of larvae thriving that has just recently emerged as adult beetles. Though the quality of the overview photograph is not ideal, it does nicely illustrate the large number of Figeaters present.
Thanks for your reply.
The week the figeaters appeared on the student union, lots of landscaping work was being done around the building, including bringing in some new sod and probably some new soil — that might have been where these guys came from!