Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Japanese Beetle - (Popillia japonica)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 7/16/2015

The invasive Japanese Beetle wreaks havoc on roses, hibiscus and other showy flowers and is incredibly difficult to get rid of.

The Japanese Beetle is a pest not native to the United States, let alone North America. It is believed to have arrived by way of ship from Japan into New Jersey in the early part of the 1900's. Since then, the beetle has made a home in most of the eastern states and occasionally pops up in other states from time to time.

The beetle is commonly identified by its very unique coloring. Appearing as an emerald dark green to black, the brown on the top of the insect give its identity away. This area of the body is also distinct in that it contains noticeable grooves running the length. Also identifiable are small tufts of white hair that seem to stick out from its abdomen.

Japanese Beetles are known for their destructive powers when eating off of cultivated or wild plants, trees, shrubbery and even vegetables and flowers. In particular, they are a pesky nuisance against most every plant type. Even in larvae form, the Japanese Beetle attacks the root of grass surfaces.

Due to this destructive life cycle to native North American flora, elimination of this insect is a common chore for farmers and gardeners.

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Category: Beetle
Common name: Japanese Beetle
Scientific Name: Popillia japonica

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Coleoptera
      Family: Scarabaeidae
       Genus: Popillia
        Species: japonica

Adult Size (Length): 8mm to 12mm (0.31in to 0.47in)

Identifying Colors: green, brown, red, white, copper, black

Additional Descriptors: metallic, green, hairy, fuzz, flying

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.