Fruit Chafer from Costa Rica: Cotinis lebasi

Subject: Costa Rican Green Beetle
Location: Quepos, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
August 14, 2016 1:58 pm
I saw this little guy while on vacation in Costa Rica, within 2 miles of the Pacific Coast near Quepos.
Date taken: July 31st, 2016. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Daniel W.

Fruit Chafer:  Cotinis lebasi

Dear Daniel,
Your beetle is very similar looking to the Green Fruit Beetle or Figeater, Cotinis mutabilis, that is quite common in Southern California, but there are enough differences to cause us to doubt that possibility.  Tried though we might, we could not easily locate information, though we did find the InBio site that states:  “Fruit beetles, or Cetoniinae, belong to the family Scarabaeidae, whose members include very well known beetles such as golden beetles, rhinoceros beetles and may beetles.  … To date, 35 species in 13 genera have been found in Costa Rica. The greatest number of species may be observed during the months of May to July, and their number decreases over the following months. … In general, it is possible to find adult Cetoniinae feeding on sweet, ripe, soft and juicy fruits, nectar in flowers and sap of some plants, probably attracted by the odor. In Costa Rica it is common to see them feeding on ripe mangos, bananas, blackberries, papaya and other fuits. [sic]”  What your individual seems to lack is the brown border along the edge of the elytra or wing covers, but this image from ZipCodeZoo that seems to have been taken in Atenguillo, Mexico looks very much like your individual.  ZipCodeZoo does list Costa Rica as part of the range.  Considering ZipCodeZoo lists a Tiger Beetle with the same name, we now doubt the credibility of the information on the site.  We cannot commit fully to this being a Figeater, but we are confident it is in the Fruit and Flower Chafer subfamily Cetoniinae, and we believe it is in the same genus, Cotinis.  Your species appears to be on the cover of the book “Escarabajos fruteros de Costa Rica (Cetoniinae) / Fruit Beetles of Costa Rica” by Ángel Solís that is listed on

We wrote to Ángel Solís
Dear Angel Solis,
I run a pop culture website and I was asked to identify a Fruit Beetle from Costa Rica.  I cannot find any similar images online.  I suspect it is in the genus Cotinis, but it is distinctly different from our Southern California Figeater, Cotinis mutabilis.
Are you able to provide a species identification?
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.
Daniel Marlos

Ángel Solís Responds
Dear Daniel Marlos:
Is Cotinis lebasi.
Ange Solís

Ed. Note:  Cotinis lebasi is pictured on the Generic Guide to New World Scarab Beetles and on Bold Systems Taxonomy.

2 thoughts on “Fruit Chafer from Costa Rica: Cotinis lebasi”

  1. Gracias, Daniel! I had spent hours scouring this and other sites. The closest I had come was the Green June Beetle, (Cotinis nitida) but knew that wasn’t correct. Now I know. Much appreciated!


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