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Cotinis nitida, commonly known as the green June beetle, June bug or June beetle, is a beetle of the family Scarabaeidae. It occurs in the eastern United States, where it is most abundant in the south. It is sometimes confused with the related southwestern species Cotinis mutabilis, which is less destructive.
The green June beetle is active during daylight hours. The adult is usually 15–22 mm (0.59–0.87 in) long with dull, metallic green wings; its sides are gold and the head, legs and underside are very bright shiny green. Their habitat extends from Maine to Georgia, and as far west as Kansas, with possible population crossover in Texas with their western cousin, the figeater beetle.
The complete life cycle for the green June beetle is one year. Once the mating process has taken place, the female will lay between 60 and 75 eggs underground during a two-week period. The eggs, when first laid, appear white and elliptical in shape, gradually becoming more spherical as the larvae develop. The eggs hatch in approximately 18 days into small, white grubs. The grubs will grow to about 40mm and appear to be white with a brownish-black head and brown spiracles along the sides of the body. The larvae will molt twice before winter. Pupation occurs after the third larval stage, which lasts nearly nine months. The adults begin to appear in June after 18 days of the pupation period.
The adult green June beetle will feed upon a variety of fruits including berries, peaches, nectarines, apples, and figs. Adults are particularly attracted to rotting fruit. The larvae are considered pests when they cause damage to lawns or turfgrasses.
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