Brown Fruit Chafer – Euphoria inda

Brown Fruit Chafer – Euphoria inda (Linnaeus) 1760
Family Scarabaeidae – Scarab Beetles / Subfamily: Cetoniinae (fruit and flower chafers).
Live adult beetles photographed at Winfield, Illinois.
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Brown Fruit Chafer
I found this adult chafer on a bark-mulched path in the woods, which seems this beetle's natural habitat, given the incredible camouflage, and the readily-burrowed surface. It was all I could do to snap one shot before this plucky creature had buried himself once again.

Adult chafers eat the leaves and flowers of many deciduous trees, shrubs and other plants, but rarely cause any serious damage. However, their fat, white grubs (reaching 40-45 mm long when full grown) live in the soil and feed on plant roots, especially those of grasses and cereals, and are occasional pests in pastures, nurseries, gardens, and in grassy amenity areas like golf-courses. The injury to grassland and lawns results in poorly growing patches that quickly turn brown in dry weather; the grubs can be found immediately below the surface, usually lying in a characteristic comma-like position [2].

The grubs sometimes attack vegetables and other garden plants, e.g. lettuce, rasberry, strawberry and young ornamental trees. Injury to the roots and rootstock causes small saplings and tender tap-rooted plants like lettuce, to wilt suddenly or to show stunted growth and a tendancy to shed leaves prematurely. Plants growing in rows are usually attacked in succession as the grubs move along from one plant to the next. Chafer grubs feed below ground for 3-4 years before changing into adult beetles [1].

Bye-bye beetle. It took about 5 seconds for this energetic creature to make itself invisible.

1. The University of Arizona, Maricopa County. Masked Chafer Beetle / Annual White Grub
2. Pascarella, J.B., Waddington, K.D., & Neal, P.R. 2001. Non-apoid flower-visiting fauna of Everglades
3. White, R.E. 1983. A Field Guide to the Beetles of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 405 pp.
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Order Coleoptera: Beetles are the dominant form of life on earth: one of every five living species is a beetle. Coleoptera is the largest order in the animal kingdom, containing a third of all insect species. There are about 400,000 known species worldwide, ~30,000 of which live in North America.  Beetles live in nearly every habitat, and for every kind of food, there's probably a beetle species that eats it.
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