Bug of the Month July 2013: Ten Lined June Beetle

Subject: What’s this Stripey Beetle
Location: Carmel Valley, CA
June 25, 2013 10:50 pm
Hello – this cute fella was hanging on my screen at 10:30pm and seems to have had a lucky escape as there was spider web on one foot. About an inch long, white and green striped beetle with brown ”really cute” face. Very mellow and gentlemenly.
Thanks much!!
Signature: Kimberly

Ten Lined June Beetle
Ten Lined June Beetle

Dear Kimberly,
This impressive beetle is a Ten Lined June Beetle,
Polyphylla decemlineata, a large Scarab Beetle that is found throughout much of western North America.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults feed on tree foliage; larvae feed on roots of shrubs/trees.”  Adults which fly during midsummer are attracted to lights and they make a squeaking sound known as stridulation when they are handled.  Even though the common name indicates they are found in June and your specimen was found in June, and even though the subfamily they belong to, Melolonthinae, is commonly referred to as May Beetles, we have selected your submission as the Bug of the Month for July 2013 since they are most commonly sighted in July.

Thank you so much as I really enjoyed him and now learning about him. Honored to be the Bug of the Month!!  You have a very cool site.

Comment:  July 24, 2013 12:13 pm
I’m so happy to have found your website!  Thank you for making the Polyphylla decemlineata your July Bug of the Month.  We have one of these delightful fellows in our backyard and his behavior is quite baffeling.  We find him on his back every day or so, and think he must be dead.  Then later in the day or the next we seem him walking about.  Do they sleep on their backs?  We jostled him a bit one day, thinking he was dead, and his legs wiggled.  We turned him over and he walked away.?…
Signature: Natalie

Hi Natalie,
We aren’t certain why you keep finding Ten Lined June Beetles on their back, but sometimes beetles fall that way and it takes them some time to right themselves.



4 thoughts on “Bug of the Month July 2013: Ten Lined June Beetle”

  1. The person who wrote in said they lived in Carmel Valley, CA. Its location is actually near the Central Coast east of Carmel, CA which is much more an agricultural area nearer to Salinas Valley.

  2. We have found 4 of these at my work in the last week. Corvallis Oregon. They do make strange noises when I try to relocate from the car lot

  3. Every July just south of the border I’ve witnessed the locals gather as many of these bugs as they can and boil them into a soup. From my understanding they drink this soup as an aphrodisiac. I’ve also heard this insect soup can be thickened into a paste like substance and used as toothpaste. After several searches in the local storefronts without any luck finding this beetle toothpaste, I found a local street vender named Jorge who had some for sale. I am reluctant to say the price for this paste was way overpriced in my opinion, so I offered him half of the asking price and offered to wash and groom all of his chihuahuas that were at this house. This was the worst thing I could have offered in payment of this Mexican Bug toothpaste. I’ve never seen so many chihuahuas in my life. They all had ticks the size of quarters and I never thought this was possible but there were so many fleas on these unforsaken dogs that even the ticks had fleas biting on them. I was so grossed out I just took the loss end left without the toothpaste.


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