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May Beetles (Phyllophaga sp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the May Beetles

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May Beetles are a frequent front door visitor during summer evenings, bumping into walls and windows instead of using the bell.

Updated: 04/24/2023; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
May Beetles are also called Junebugs because they are particularly active and visible during that month of the summer across most of the continent. There are many species in the Phyllophaga genus and they resemble each other in many ways, though some are darker than others. A hefty, oblong, brown body has shiny elytra covering mighty wings. Their jointed brown legs are useful when clinging to window screens and door frames.

They tend to bump into windows many times at night, presumably drawn by interior light. They often form congregations around porch lights, front doors, back doors, windows, and other areas with ambient light. They are not dangerous to people, but they used to be agricultural pests in orchards, groves, sod farms, and crops. Their impact on these industries has waned though, and most people find them only a nuisance when coming and going through doorways for fear of letting them indoors or smashing them in door jambs.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Scarabaeidae
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          Genus: Phyllophaga
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            Species: sp.

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Phyllophaga sp.
Other Name(s): Junebug
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 25mm (0.31" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown
Descriptors: buzzing; flying; window; cluster

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 8mm (0.3in) and 25mm (1.0in)
Lo: 8mm
Md: 16.5mm
Hi: 25mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the May Beetles may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the May Beetles. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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