Subject: Hissing beetle in NC in July
Geographic location of the bug: NC mountains, Lake Toxaway
Time: 03:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I thought this was a ten lined june bug, but they’re apparently only found out west. I’m in NC. It hisses, so what is it?
How you want your letter signed: Chris
You are absolutely correct that this is not a Ten Lined June Beetle, Polyphylla decemlineata, a western species, however it is still a Lined June Beetle in the genus Polyphylla. The large antennae indicates it is a male. The hissing sound you heard is made when the beetle rubs its body parts together, a process known as stridulation. We believe your individual is a species with a BugGuide range of “Virginia south through the Great Smokies to Louisiana” and with no common name other than the general genus name of Lined June Beetle, Polyphylla comes, based on this BugGuide image, but we would not rule out that it might be the Variegated June Beetle, Polyphylla variolosa, based on this BugGuide image. Both species are in your geographic area. Apparently these species can be difficult to differentiate, as this BugGuide posting proves.