Currently viewing the category: "Scarab Beetles"
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I saw these beetles in the Owyhees in SE Oregon this last weekend. I think they are rain beetles? Very cool even though I am by far not a bug/beetle person….I like furry animals, but not hairy beetles…Please confirm. Cheers,

hi Gretchen,
We believe your hairy May Beetle might be in the genus Phylophagus. We found two similar images on BugGuide, one listed as Phylophagus tristis, and the other just as Phylophagus. We will contact Eric Eaton who once lived in Oregon to see if he is familiar with this hairy May Beetle.

Correction: (05/25/2008)
Yes, I do recognize that beetle:-) It is the “little bear,” Paracotalpa granicollis. I recall collecting a couple in the same part of Oregon the submitter describes, back in 1982! The adult beetles feed on tree buds and blossoms, while the larvae likely feed on the roots of sagebrush.

Thanks for bailing us out on this one Eric. Seems we didn’t even have the subfamily correct, as the Little Bear, Paracotalpa granicollis, is a Shining Leaf Chafer in the subfamily Rutelinae, and not a May Beetle.

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I can’t find this puppy on your site
I took this photo in the Tulsa Rose Garden yesterday. I can’t figure out what it is. Can you help me? Thanks

hi Chuck,
This is a Rose Chafer, Macrodactylus subspinosus. We just read on BugGuide that the Rose Chafer contains the chemical cantharadin and if eaten, it can poison chickens.

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made me late to work today
Brown wings underneath. I’m in Eversly, UK on business I threw it outside after taking a couple of pics. What was it?

We have to confess that posting letters to our site has made us late for work on more than one occasion. Glad to hear it has the same effect on our readership. This is a Cockchafer, also known as a Billy Witch. Read more on Wikipedia.

Edibility Update: (05/12/2008) Cockchafers: Totally Edible
Greetings Daniel,
Hope things are good with you. Cockchafers are one of the few European insects with a history of consumption — both the grubs and the adults. This is from the classic “Why Not Eat Insects?” published in 1885 by Vincent Holt: Literally tooth and nail we ought to battle with this enemy, for in both its stages it is a most dainty morsel for the table. . . . Again I endorse from personal experience. Try them as I have; they are delicious. Cockchafers are not only common, but of a most serviceable size and plumpness, while their grubs are, when full grown, at least two inches in length, and fat in proportion . . . . What a godsend to housekeepers to discover a new entre to vary the monotony of the present round! . . . Here then, mistresses, who thirst to place new and dainty dishes before your guests, what better could you have than ‘Curried Maychafers’ – , if you want a more mysterious title, ‘Larvae Melolonthae a la Grugru?’

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carrizo plain beetle
Hi, I was visiting the Carrizo Plain east of Atascadero yesterday. About 5:30 pm these beetles started to get active. they seem to like to eat flowers. This flower is Thistle sage. I was at the plain a couple of years ago and right on schedule, the fiddle neck flowers were suddenly alive with hungry beetles munching flowers. The beetle is about 1/2 inch long or a bit more. Quite handsome I think. The notable thing I see, which may be distinctive, is a hairy fringe bordering the outer wings. Well, that’s how it looks, but probably the fringe is part of the inner wings. Without disturbing it, it was hard to tell. I don’t collect insects anymore since the dermistids got ahead of me at some point. It’s “catch, observe, release” now. Thanks for your great site. I used it last summer to ID the long horned alder borers I found crawling on a -you guessed it- freshly painted wall. I couldn’t resist poking them to see if they would hiss. Yes. Just like the Eucalyptus long horned borers do! Let me know when you find out. thanks
Sylva B. Los Angeles, CA

Hi Sylva,
This Scarab Beetle is Paracotalpa ursina and we cannot locate a common name. Interestingly, there is a photo posted to BugGuide of the species from 2006 and it is also in Carrizo Plains and it is also on thistle sage. Also of interest to us is that our friend and neighbor Clare Marter-Kenyon just mentioned seeing Thistle Sage for the first time.

Hi Daniel,
thanks. I am your neighbor, as I live on North Avenue 51, near Oxy.. I know Clare. It’s always fun to learn a new plant. I’ll send you a couple of photos of thistle sage from a 2 years ago, on the plain. Beautiful. Also, I have a photo for the bug love category. Thanks again for such quick response. Knowing the species, thanks to you, I found out that the beetle emerges from holes in the ground. Probably always in the evening when temp & wind die down. Type specimin at Harvard looks like it is covered with golden fur!!!
Sylva B

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What’s this bug?
Hi there bug guy,
Hope you can help me name this bug my son found outside on our fence. I’ve never seen this beetle before. He’s really cute, but he has a very loud and very scary hisssssss. My cat was not impressed by him at all 🙂 Is this bug native to where we are? Northern Territory Australia. And can we keep him as a pet, or should we let him back in the garden? Can we handle him? Carefully of course. Or is he poisonous, a biter? Thanks for any help you can give us.
Sarah and Dylan.

Hi Sarah and Dylan,
Though your photo is quite blurry, we believe this is Haploscapanes australicus, a somewhat rare Rhinoceros Beetle from Australia. Sadly the angle of view and image quality leave room for doubt. You can feed your pet ripe fruit, like bananas, but probably it would be best to release him in the hopes he will find a mate.

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Hello Bugman. I found this weird looking beetle in my dog’s water bowl and I promptly brought it into the house so that I could Google it. After not finding it, I remembered your site (which I’ve been to a couple times before) and searched through the pages of beetles but I haven’t found it yet. Its about the same size as a quarter (as the picture shows) and is a metallic green color with metallic copper color on the carapace (?). It sports a single curved horn on its head. Sorry about the quality of the pictures, its been gloomy and wet all day.
Clay Bridges
Henderson, Texas

hi Clay,
Your beetle is type of Dung Beetle commonly called a Rainbow Scarab, Phanaeus difformis. it is related to the similar looking, more common Rainbow Scarab, Phaneas vindex. BugGuide has a nice graphic that shows how to distinguish the two species based on the shape of pronotum.

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