×
BugFinder Insects by State Spiders Butterflies & Moths Bees, Ants, & Wasps Beetles All Bugs Videos (YouTube)

Rainbow Scarab Beetle (Phanaeus vindex)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Rainbow Scarab Beetle



Loading SVG image placeholder
1/3
Image Credit: Paul F.
Full-sized image of the Rainbow-Scarab-Beetle Thumbnail image of the Rainbow-Scarab-Beetle
2/3
Image Credit: Rich O. from NJ
Full-sized image #2 of the Rainbow-Scarab-Beetle Thumbnail image #2 of the Rainbow-Scarab-Beetle
3/3
Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Full-sized image #3 of the Rainbow-Scarab-Beetle Thumbnail image #3 of the Rainbow-Scarab-Beetle

The glittery female Rainbow Scarab Beetle is a delight to the eyes but the male means business.



Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The colorful, metallic females inspired the common name for the Rainbow Scarab Beetle. Males are completely black or shades of dark blue. In a way, males compensate for a less showy color by sporting a curved horn that grows out of the head like a rhinoceros. Males also have high ridges on the pronotum (shoulder plate). Females lack both horns and high ridges, but have metallic green wing coverings, a sparkling red pronotum, and hints of gold on the head.

Larvae, like all beetles, are grubs: plump, white, wormy creatures that curl into a c-shape. Rainbow Scarab Beetles are extremely good at degrading feces. When breeding, these tunneling insects dig a chamber in the soil under a pile of dung and roll the dung into feeding balls for hatching larvae. Eggs, along with balls of dung for food, are laid in the chamber. Offspring molt and pupate underground emerging as adults. They feed on the dung balls as they develop. Adults also eat animal dung, preferring pig and opossum dung over others. This unique diet is a critical part of recycling nutrients in an ecosystem. The benefits of the beetle's existence are well-known in conservation because they help reduce damage created by large quantities of dung left behind by ruminants (plant-eating animals like cows). Rainbow Scarab Beetles also seem to out-compete a species of blood-sucking horn fly, making it difficult for the horn fly to establish a population, much to the relief of local cattle.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Harmless insect icon
Shiny insect icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Scarabaeidae
View More
          Genus: Phanaeus
View More
            Species: vindex
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Phanaeus vindex
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 22mm (0.39" to 0.86")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, red, copper, yellow, blue, black
Descriptors: colorful, harmless, metallic, shiny, flying, horn
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 22mm (0.9in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 16mm
Hi: 22mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Rainbow Scarab Beetle 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 Rainbow Scarab Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Sitemap


Beetle Identification Butterfly Identification Caterpillar Identification Spider ID

www.InsectIdentification.org • Content ©2006- InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved. The InsectIdentification.org logo, its written content, and watermarked photographs/imagery are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and is protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. This resource uses publically-released information. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (regarding bites, etc...).Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. By submitting images to us (InsectIdentification.org) you acknowledge that you have read and understood our Site Disclaimer as it pertains to "User-Submitted Content". When emailing please include your location and the general estimated size of the specimen in question if possible. Please direct all inquiries and comments to insectidentification AT gmail.com.

www.InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2006-

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo