Grapevine Beetles are fascinating insects that draw attention due to their unique appearance and habits. These nocturnal creatures are oval and chunky, with sturdy front legs designed for digging and plates at the ends of their antennae. Their color ranges from pale yellow to a rich saffron, and they can be found in various habitats, such as woodlands, thickets, and vineyards, mainly east of the Great Plains source.
A notable characteristic of this beetle species includes markings on their body, consisting of a spot on each side of the thorax and three on the side of each elytron. Due to their widespread presence and captivating looks, Grapevine Beetles are of interest to both entomologists and casual observers alike. Knowing more about these fascinating creatures helps us appreciate their role in nature and our environment.
Grapevine Beetle: Basic Facts
Overview of Grapevine Beetle
Grapevine Beetles (Pelidnota punctata) belong to the Scarabaeidae family and are found mostly east of the Great Plains, in woodlands, thickets, and vineyards. They are nocturnal insects with sturdy front legs for digging and plates at the ends of their antennae1. The color of these beetles can vary from pale broom-straw yellow to rich saffron, with distinct spots on their thorax and elytra2.
Some characteristics of Grapevine Beetle:
- Colors: Pale yellow to saffron
- Found east of the Great Plains
The scientific classification of the Grapevine Beetle is as follows3:
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Coleoptera
- Family: Scarabaeidae
- Genus: Pelidnota
- Species: Pelidnota punctata
Comparison Table of Grapevine Beetle to Other Scarab Beetles
|Feature||Grapevine Beetle||Green June Beetle||Japanese Beetle|
|Color||Yellow to saffron||Metallic green||Metallic green|
|Size||Chunky, oval||Nearly 1 inch||7/16-inch|
|Antennae||Plates at ends||N/A||Clubbed, fan-like|
|Front legs||Sturdy, toothed||N/A||N/A|
|Distinct spots||Yes4||Bronze to yellow||Whitish hairs|
Appearance and Identification
The Grapevine Beetle (GB) is a 1-inch, oval-shaped, nocturnal insect, featuring a vibrant off-yellow to tan color. It has six distinct black spots – one on each side of the thorax, and three on each elytron (wing cover). Some key characteristics include:
- Sturdy front legs designed for digging
- Plates at the ends of their antennae called lamellae
- Found in woodlands, vineyards, and other habitats
Adults are often seen on flowers, showcasing their striking color and black spots. Their antennae are highly specialized, with unique endings called lamellae, which can be fanned out for sensory purposes. Their eyes are segmented and adapted to their nocturnal lifestyle.
Larval Grapevine Beetles lack the vibrant coloration of their adult counterparts, featuring a darker shade of brown. They share some similarities with the adults, which are:
- Cream-colored, elongated bodies
- Found in the soil near host plants
- They have well-developed legs and strong mandibles
Examples of these habitats are woodlands, vineyards, and gardens. As they mature and undergo metamorphosis, their color and features change, eventually becoming the vibrant, spotted adults we know.
Comparison of Adult and Larva Features
|Characteristic||Adult Grapevine Beetle||Larva|
|Color||Off-yellow to tan||Darker shade of brown|
|Size||1 inch||Smaller than adult|
|Spots||Six distinct spots||None|
|Habitat||Flowers, woodlands||Soil near host plants|
Distribution and Habitat
Grapevine Beetle Range
The Grapevine Beetle is commonly found in North America, primarily in the United States and Canada. Their range spans from east of the Great Plains, including eastern Canada and parts of Ontario.
These beetles prefer various habitats, such as:
In addition, they have been observed in regions like Texas and Mexico.
Grapevine Beetles are known to inhabit a variety of host plants, where they feed and reproduce. Some of their favorite plants include:
They are particularly drawn to oaks.
|North America||Eastern Canada||Ontario|
|Grapevine Beetle Distribution||✔||✔||✔|
- Example: The Grapevine Beetle can be found in the forests of Texas, feeding on oak trees.
Life Cycle and Behavior
Grapevine Beetle Life Cycle
The life cycle of the Grapevine Beetle (GB) consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
- Egg: A female GB lays her eggs in the soil near grapevines or rotting wood.
- Larva: Hatching from the eggs, the C-shaped larvae feed on decaying plant material for several months.
- Pupa: After completing their larval stage, they pupate in their pupal chambers in the soil.
- Adult: Once metamorphosis is complete, adult GBs emerge from the soil in late spring or early summer.
Grapevine Beetle Behavior
Grapevine Beetles, also known as Spotted June Beetles, display some unique behavioral characteristics:
- They are nocturnal and most active during the night.
- Attracted to lights at night, they can often be found near lit areas.
- During summer months, adult GBs can be spotted feeding on the foliage of grapevines and other plants.
- In the larval stage, GBs are found in the soil and primarily feed on rotting wood.
Some key differences between the Grapevine Beetle and June Beetles include:
|Features||Grapevine Beetle||June Beetles|
|Adult Size||About 1 inch||0.5 to 1 inch|
|Color||Yellow with black spots||Brown or greenish-brown|
|Active Season||Late spring to summer||May or June|
Overall, understanding the life cycle and behavior of the Grapevine Beetle can help with better management practices in vineyards and other affected areas.
Damage to Plants and Control Measures
Damage Caused by Grapevine Beetles
Grapevine beetles are known to eat the foliage of grapevine leaves in gardens and vineyards. The damage caused by these beetles includes:
- Feeding on grapevine leaves
- Reducing the overall health of the plant
It is essential to identify these beetles during their larval stage to prevent extensive damage to plants. The larvae of grapevine beetles can be found in rotten wood or tree stumps.
Preventive and Control Measures
To manage grapevine beetle infestations, there are several preventive and control measures that can be applied. Below are some options to control these pests:
- Introducing beneficial insects or predators like birds to feed on the beetles
- Utilizing beneficial nematodes and milky spores in the soil to target the larval stage
- Utilizing insecticides or chemical treatments when infestations are severe
- Insecticidal soap spray can be used to target beetles without harming beneficial insects
- Removing rotten wood and tree stumps where larvae reside
- Regularly inspecting plants for signs of infestation and handpicking beetles if necessary
Keep in mind that it is essential to strike a balance between chemical use and respecting the environment to ensure the health and safety of other plants, insects, and wildlife.
|Biological control||Environmentally friendly||May take time for results|
|Chemical control||Fast and effective||May harm beneficial insects & plants|
|Physical control||No chemical usage||Labor-intensive|
By understanding the damage caused by grapevine beetles and applying these control measures when necessary, you can better protect the plants in your garden or vineyard, ensuring their continued growth and health.
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Grapevine Beetle
I live in southeastern Ontario and recently found a strange beetle flying in my home. I have never seen one like this before. Could you please help me to identify it?
This is a Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata. As its name implies, the adult eats the leaves and fruits of both wild and cultivated grapes while the larvae eat decaying wood in tree stumps. The adult has a rapid curving flight pattern.
Letter 2 – Grapevine Beetle
I saw this in my hallway. I live in Southern New York State. What is it? Thanks,
This pretty scarab is a Grapevine Beetle.
Letter 3 – Grapevine Beetle
Its been storming on and off all day today and when I went into my kitchen I looked on the screen and I seen this on the window screen my kids wanted to see what it was so i went out and got a bowl. I seen your pics and think its a Grapevine beetle sorry about the pics quality its taken with a web cam. We have no grapevines around here and it was the only one people say they are usually in pairs and there quite large.
You are correct. This is a Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata. We have gotten several letters recently, without photos, inquiring about white June Bugs. We suspect either Grapevine Beetles or Goldsmith Beetles in those cases.
Letter 4 – Grapevine Beetle
My name is Rich from Jackson, Mi. I found this guy on my screen door. Now, to me he look a bit like a lady bug, not enough spots though and waaaay too big. He’s huge. Can you tell me what it is? I’ve never seen one of these b4 and have lived in Michigan 37 yrs. Thank Again
This distinctive Scarab Beetle is known as the Grapevine Beetle.
Letter 5 – Grapevine Beetle
2 pictures for you
Please can you put a name to this wonderful creature? I photo’d it and set it free,it tried to fly like a ladybug but was too tired.aproxx 3/4 ” in length
This is a Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata.
Letter 6 – Grapevine Beetle
what is this?
Hi there……can you tell me what this is? It was on my front porch wall near the outside light late one night. Thank you
It would be very difficult to mistake a Grapevine Beetle for any other North American species. In coloration, it ranges from cream, through yellow, orange and even red, but the spotting pattern remains constant.