Shining Leaf Chafer: Quick Guide on Nature’s Emerald Jewel

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The shining leaf chafer is a fascinating member of the Scarabaeidae family, which is a group of over 30,000 species of beetles. These beetles, belonging to the subfamily Rutelinae, are known for their eye-catching metallic colors and intricate patterns.

As a beetle enthusiast, you might have encountered these captivating insects in your garden or nearby wooded areas. Their vibrant appearances make them easy to spot, showcasing nature’s incredible variety.

In this article, you’ll learn more about the shining leaf chafer, including its distinctive characteristics and habits. Stay tuned to uncover the secrets of these charming beetles and deepen your appreciation for the world of insects.

Shining Leaf Chafer Classification

The Shining Leaf Chafer belongs to the order Coleoptera and is a part of the family Scarabaeidae. Within this family, they fall under the subfamily Rutelinae. As you know, Coleoptera is one of the largest orders of insects, which includes various types of beetles. The Scarabaeidae family is known for its diverse range of beetle species, and the Rutelinae subfamily represents only a small fraction of this extensive grouping.

These fascinating beetles come in a variety of genera, each having unique features and characteristics. Often, they are found in beautiful, metallic colors and are commonly referred to as shining leaf chafers. Here are some key features you’ll find in these beetles:

  • Belong to the order Coleoptera
  • Part of the family Scarabaeidae
  • Classified under the subfamily Rutelinae
  • Consist of various genera

In comparison to other insects, the Shining Leaf Chafer’s distinct classification makes them stand out. With their vibrant colors and intricate designs, they are an excellent example of the vast biodiversity present in the insect world. When observing these fascinating beetles, keep in mind their unique place in the classification system, and appreciate their contribution to the remarkable diversity found within the order Coleoptera and the family Scarabaeidae.

Appearance and Identification

General Appearance

The Shining Leaf Chafer is a type of scarab beetle found in various parts of the world. They have an oval-shaped body, which is visually appealing due to its metallic and shiny appearance.

Color and Pattern

These beetles are mostly known for their iridescent, shiny surface. They usually come in a range of brown shades, but can also exhibit other metallic colors. The combination of color and pattern on their wing covers gives them a unique and attractive appearance.

  • Scarab beetle: Shining Leaf Chafers belong to this family of beetles
  • Brown: The most common color for these beetles
  • Metallic: An attractive feature that makes them stand out
  • Shiny: A characteristic that contributes to their aesthetic appeal
  • Iridescent: The surface of their wing covers can reflect multiple colors
  • Oval: The general shape of their bodies
  • Wing cover: The protective layer that covers their wings and creates the unique patterns

As you observe Shining Leaf Chafer beetles, take note of their striking appearance and vibrant colors. This can help you easily identify them among other beetles and insects in your environment.

Lifestyle and Behavior

Fruit and Crop Interaction

Shining Leaf Chafers (Chrysina) are a type of beetle with adults known for their shiny metallic appearance. These beetles can become a pest when they resort to feeding on fruits and crops. For example, in South Carolina, they may attack peach and plum trees.

Grubs, the larval stage of Leaf Chafers, are known for their damage to the roots of various plants. As a result, they indirectly affect crop and fruit yield.


Shining Leaf Chafers are mostly found in mountain and hill regions in North America. In these habitats, these beetles have some typical characteristics:

  • Prefer forested areas with abundant trees and plant life
  • Active during late spring and summer months
  • Generally nocturnal, being most active during nighttime hours

To sum up, the Shining Leaf Chafer may cause damage to fruit and crops, with adults directly feeding on fruits while grubs affect plant roots. They are primarily found in mountain and hill regions with a preference for forested areas. Remember to be cautious of these pests when planting fruit trees or crops in their habitat.

Ecological Significance

The Shining Leaf Chafer is an insect that plays a role in the ecosystem and can affect various fruit crops, including grapes. In this section, we will discuss its ecological significance to plants and the environment.

This tiny creature is known to feed on the leaves of various plants, which can lead to defoliation and weakened crops. As a result, you might notice stunted growth or reduced yields in plants like grapes or other fruit-bearing trees.

However, Shining Leaf Chafers also contribute to the natural food chain. They serve as nourishment for numerous predators, such as birds and spiders, thus helping maintain a balance in your garden’s ecosystem.

To summarize, the ecological significance of the Shining Leaf Chafer includes:

  • Feeding on leaves, impacting the health and productivity of fruit crops like grapes
  • Serving as a food source for predators, helping maintain balance in the ecosystem

Remember, it’s essential to keep an eye on these insects in your garden, and ensure they don’t cause excessive damage to your plants.

Interactions with Other Species

The Shining Leaf Chafer is a fascinating insect that interacts with various creatures in its ecosystem. As a member of the scarab beetle family, it shares several characteristics with its relatives such as the Japanese beetle.

Diet and Predators
Shining Leaf Chafers primarily feed on plant material, such as leaves and flowers. They play an essential role in their ecosystem by helping break down plant matter, acting as nature’s own recyclers. However, they also face threats from predators like birds, reptiles, and other insects.

Association with Scarab Beetles and Japanese Beetles
Let’s compare Shining Leaf Chafer with the Japanese beetle, both belonging to the scarab beetles family:

Feature Shining Leaf Chafer Japanese Beetle
Color Metallic green with golden hues Metallic green with copper colored wings
Size Up to 15 mm long 8-11 mm long
Habitat Forests and Woodlands Gardens, Orchards, and Fields

Though they share similarities, their habitats and preferences differ quite a bit.

Beetles as Pollinators
While many think of bees as the primary pollinators in the environment, beetles also play a vital role. Shining Leaf Chafers, like other beetles, can help transfer pollen between flowers. This action ensures plant species can successfully reproduce, contributing to overall biodiversity.

Understanding the Shining Leaf Chafer and its interactions with other species opens up a new perspective on the complexity of our ecosystems. By recognizing their ecological roles and acknowledging their similarities and differences to related beetles, you can appreciate the intricate web of life in which this fascinating insect participates.

Control and Management of Pests

When you encounter Shining Leaf Chafer grubs in your garden, it’s essential to implement control and management strategies.

One common way to deal with these pests is by introducing beneficial nematodes into your garden. These microscopic worms attack and kill the grub larvae, reducing their population. Another option is using a product containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically targets the damaging larvae without harming beneficial insects.

There are also cultural practices you can adopt, such as:

  • Regularly monitoring your plants for signs of grub damage.
  • Maintaining a healthy, diverse ecosystem in your garden to encourage natural predators.
  • Properly fertilizing and watering your plants to improve their resilience against pests.

Sometimes, it’s necessary to use chemical control methods, such as applying insecticides. It’s important to select a product labeled for use on Shining Leaf Chafer grubs and follow the application instructions carefully for optimal results.

In conclusion, managing Shining Leaf Chafer grubs can be challenging but with the right tactics – such as using beneficial nematodes or Bt, adopting cultural practices, and applying targeted insecticides – you can effectively control these pests in your garden. Remember to monitor your plants closely and act quickly to prevent further damage.

Interesting Facts

Shining leaf chafers, also known as Anomala binotata, are fascinating insects that can capture your attention with their unique features and behavior. In this section, we will delve into some interesting facts about these captivating creatures.

  • Shining leaf chafers belong to the family Scarabaeidae, which is a group of more than 30,000 species of beetles. Many scarab beetles, including Anomala binotata, are known for their metallic and iridescent colors.

  • These insects are typically found in various habitats such as forests, fields, and gardens. They are especially attracted to deciduous trees, where they feed on the leaves.

  • The adult Anomala binotata has a metallic green or coppery shine, making it easily identifiable among other insects. As for their size, they usually range between 0.5 and 1 inch in length.

  • The life cycle of Anomala binotata consists of four main stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The adults lay their eggs in the soil, and when these eggs hatch, the larvae feed on decaying plant materials.

  • Interestingly, Anomala binotata larvae can be beneficial to the soil. By feeding on organic matter, they help in breaking down and decomposing dead plants, which in turn enriches the soil.

So, there you have it – a few intriguing facts about the shining leaf chafer, Anomala binotata. These little insects may be small in size, but their impact on the environment, as well as their unique appearance, makes them special members of the insect world.


In this section, you’ll find some useful references and resources to further explore the Shining Leaf Chafer. These sources will provide you with updated and accurate information on this intriguing insect:

  • The Shining Leaf Chafer page on Insect Identification provides a detailed overview of this beetle, including its physical features, habitat, and behavior.

  • For a comparison of different leaf chafer species, the Scarabaeidae entry on Britannica offers information on this large beetle family, to which the Shining Leaf Chafer belongs.

Here are some key characteristics of the Shining Leaf Chafer in bullet points:

  • Iridescent, metallic green color
  • Small, robust body shape
  • Active during the day
  • Feeds on leaves and flowers

If you’re interested in understanding more about the insect world, the following resources offer expert insights on beetles, including comparisons with other species:

  • Beetles of North America is a comprehensive database that provides detailed descriptions, photos, and distribution maps of various beetle species found in North America.

Remember, when seeking information about a specific insect like the Shining Leaf Chafer, it’s essential to consult reliable sources for accurate information. Don’t hesitate to explore the references provided here for a more in-depth understanding of this fascinating beetle.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, 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 – Countdown 13 more postings to the 20,000 mark: Shining Leaf Chafer


Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Southern California/High Desert
March 30, 2015 8:29 am
I found a really pretty green beetle on campus today. Some mean boys were throwing it, and I thought it was dead, but when I picked it up it moved a little bit! I’d like to know what kind of bug it is, so I can maybe save it, and if not, maybe I’ll keep it.
Can you help me?
Signature: Ms. London

Shining Leaf Chafer:  Paracotalpa puncticollis
Shining Leaf Chafer: Paracotalpa puncticollis

Dear Mrs. London,
This gorgeous Scarab Beetle is a Shining Leaf Chafer in the subfamily Rutelinae that does not have a distinct common name, and its scientific name,
Paracotalpa puncticollis, is quite a mouthful.  It is pictured on BugGuide, but there is not much additional information.  According to the Coleopterists Bulletin:  “Paracotalpa puncticollis is usually found in pinyon-juniper areas, and appears to be associated with plats of the genus Juniperus.  Observations of adults emerging from litter at the base of juniper may indicate that larvae feed on roots of this plant.  Adults have been observed feeding on needles of juniper, and analysis of fecal material has confirmed this adult diet.”  Because of your kindness, we are tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Shining Leaf Chafer
Shining Leaf Chafer


Letter 2 – Leaf Chafer


Subject:  Found beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Parachue colorado
Date: 05/07/2018
Time: 07:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found a type of beetle don’t know what it is tryin to find out
How you want your letter signed:  Anyway you like

Leaf Chafer: Paracotalpa granicollis

We quickly identified your Leaf Chafer as Paracotalpa granicollis thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Has been associated with Juniperus species, which is likely an adult food plant.” 

Letter 3 – Oriental Beetle


Similar to Japanese Beetle in Size
July 13, 2009
This beetle is seen in my garden. It is similar in size to the Japanese beetle. I found this beetle on a grape leaf. It is mid-July and I have been seeing them for about a week.
Nothern Westchester County, New York.

Shining Leaf Chafer
Oriental Beetle

Hi Cathy,
Your beetle is a Shining Leaf Chafer in the same subfamily as the Japanese Beetle.  We believe it is in the genus Strigoderma based on images posted to BugGuide.
Perhaps one of our readers can verify this.

Correction from Eric Eaton
The “shining leaf chafer” you thought might be Strigoderma is actually the “Oriental beetle,” Anomala orientalis, incredibly abundant right now here in western Massachusetts….

Letter 4 – Shining Leaf Chafer: Pelidnota strigosa


Subject: Beetle
Location: Sayulita, Nayarit. México
October 2, 2016 1:13 pm
Hello! i found this shiny beetle in the jungle of the coast of Nayarit, México.
Signature: Ana

Shining Leaf Chafer
Shining Leaf Chafer

Dear Ana,
This magnificent Scarab Beetle is a Shining Leaf Chafer in the subfamily Rutelinae, and we are pretty certain it is in the genus Chrysina.  There are only four species represented on BugGuide from North America north of Mexico, but there are additional species in Mexico.  It might be LeConte’s Chrysina,
Chrysina lecontei, which is pictured on BugGuide where it states:  “Considered by New Mexico to be a ‘Species of Greatest Conservation Need'”  Alas, we are unable to provide you with a species identification with any certainty even though 85 species are pictured on the Generic Guide to New World Scarab Beetles Chrysina Gallery, but another possibility is Chrysina quetzalcoatli which is also pictured on the Chrysina Gallery.  We will attempt to get an expert opinion for you.

Shining Leaf Chafer
Shining Leaf Chafer

Letter 5 – Shining Leaf Chafer from Costa Rica


costa rica beetle
Location: Garza, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
September 20, 2011 10:16 pm
Hi there,
my boyfriend lives in costa rica on the pacific coast, and knows how much I love insects, so he sent me this picture, taken 9/20/11. I think he said it was june beetle size. What is it? He also said that the photo didn’t quite catch the golden color of the back. Thanks!
Signature: liza constable

Shining Leaf Chafer

Dear liza,
This is a Scarab Beetle, and we believe it is a Shining Leaf Chafer in the subfamily Rutelinae, and probably the tribe Rutelini which you can see well represented on BugGuide, a website that covers North American insects north of Mexico.

Letter 6 – Shining Leaf Chafer from Panama: Macraspis chrysis


Subject:  Jewel Scarab?
Geographic location of the bug:  Panama Canal Zone
Date: 09/24/2017
Time: 10:38 PM EDT
I found this beetle about 4 years ago while doing research in the forests in the Canal Zone of central Panama. It was dead laying along a stream bank, but I picked it up because I thought it looked cool, and have had it ever since. I’ve tried to find out what it is, but have had no luck. Looks like a jewel scarab, but the scutellum is larger than any I’ve seen. It’s an iridescent green, which turns to a red/orange when light reflects in certain ways. Any idea of what this is?
How you want your letter signed:  Andrew

Macraspis chrysis

Dear Andrew,
You are correct that this is a Scarab Beetle.  Perhaps the reason you didn’t have any luck with an identification is that you were searching for Scarab Beetles from Panama.  Nearby Costa Rica has many of the same insects as does Panama, but since there is more eco-tourism in Costa Rica, there tends to be better online databases for identifying the flora and fauna there.  Our first internet clue as to the identity of your Scarab Beetle was this Beetle Bling INBio posting on Jimmy O’Donnell’s Evolutionary Ecology site.  Though the species is not identified, there is an image from the collection of several dozens of what appears to be your beetle with this caption:  “A single specimen of a gold or silver Scarabs is impressive, but an entire drawer of them, lined up like a frozen army is incommunicably beautiful. Various descriptions were tossed around: gold and silver plated candies, gold doubloons, or ‘Beetle T-1000’.”  We then found an image of Macraspis chrysis on the Beetles (Coleoptera) and coleopterists site and clicking on the image produces this nice enlargement.  The species is also pictured on FlickR.

Macraspis chrysis

Wow! Thanks for the quick reply. I’m happy you were able to identify this particular beetle. Thank you so much for the help. This is a great resource for anyone with questions about a particular insect!

Letter 7 – Shining Leaf Chafer: Paracotalpa puncticollis


Weird green metallic beetle with white fur
Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 7:52 PM
I came across this bug while on a hiking trail in Sedona, AZ the other day. I’ve never seen anything like it and was wondering if I could get some help identifying it.
Sedona, AZ

Shining Leaf Chafer
Shining Leaf Chafer

Hi Michelle,
We identified your Shining Leaf Chafer as Paracotalpa puncticollis on BugGuide, but the species has no common name.  Paracotalpa puncticollis is a new species for our site and it is not well represented on BugGuide either.  It is reported from California, where it was found on Juniper, and from Nevada where one photo shows it feeding on what appears to be juniper as well.  Thanks for sending your exciting image to our website.

Letter 8 – Little Bear: Paracotalpa ursina


beetle:  handsome, carrizo plain on phacelia
May 2, 2010
so, if you are still speaking to me… 🙂
Clare Marter Kenyon

Paracotalpa ursina

Hi Clare,
Julian Donahue informed us yesterday at Janet’s going away party that you sent him a photo of this lovely Shining Leaf Chafer, which is why we gave you a hard time about not sending it to What’s That Bug?  It is Paracotalpa ursina, and BugGuide has a marvelous image of a mating pair also photographed on the Carrizo Plain, and it appears that they are also on phacelia.  CalPhotos, which you mentioned during our conversation at Janet’s party, calls it the Little Bear, a reference to the species name due to the hairiness of the beetle.

Letter 9 – Shining Leaf Chafer from Vietnam


Subject: Rutelinae from Vietnam
Location: Vietnam
October 11, 2013 4:35 am
I am searching for informations about these Rutelinae beetle. What species is this?
The picture was taken in Cat Ba, Vietnam.
Thanks & Regards,
Signature: Steven

Shining Leaf Chafer
Shining Leaf Chafer

Hi Steven,
We are posting your photo of a Shining Leaf Chafer in the subfamily Rutelinae, and we will attempt to identify it when we have more time for the research.

Letter 10 – Shining Leaf Chafer: Which Cotalpa species is it???


Large Beetle
Location: Western Colorado
June 5, 2011 11:16 am
Found this fairly large (1 1/4”) beetle on sagebrush in Loma Colorado. Area is high desert, 5,269 in elevation. Very striking yellow and orange leg colors. Have been looking for ID on internet, but really can’t find it. Any idea what this pretty beetle is?
Signature: Sage Hen

Shining Leaf Chafer: Cotalpa species

Dear Sage Hen,
This is one of the Shining Leaf Chafers in the genus Cotalpa, but several species look quite similar.  We believe it might be
Cotalpa flavida which is represented on BugGuide from Utah and Nevada though on the genus page on BugGuide, it is listed as Arizona and California. Cotalpa subcribrata is listed from Colorado, however, BugGuide does not have any images of it.  An Eastern Species that is reported as far west as Texas and Nebraska on BugGuide is Cotalpa lanigera, the Goldsmith Beetle, which is believed to be the Gold Bug from Edgar Allen Poe fame.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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