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Ten-lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ten-lined June Beetle

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Image Credit: Louise D. Johnson of Courtenay, BC
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Image Credit: Susan T.H., taken in Gold Beach, OR
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Image Credit: Jeani R. from WA
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Image Credit: Ilona P. from Stayton, OR
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Image Credit: Susan T.H., taken in Gold Beach, OR
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Image Credit: Ilona P. from Stayton, OR
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The well-defined Ten-lined June Beetle is a western native that sticks to its roots and even gets a little hissy when disturbed.

Updated: 08/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
When counting the white lines on a Ten-lined June Beetle, count the middle line twice because it forms two separate lines once the wings open. The short lines on the sides of the elytra (wing coverings) also count as part of that ten. This Scarab Beetle is larger than others and can grow to almost 5cm, or 2 inches in length. Adults are harmless and do not cause any real trouble, but groups of their larvae can kill a tree, or stunt its growth, by devouring the roots. Often, the damage to the tree is unseen until it dies or falls over. These grubs live underground for 2-3 years, feasting on roots, which gives the tree no time to recover season after season. For this reason, the Ten-lined June Beetle is considered an agricultural pest. Ending an infestation is only possible by removing affected trees and those near them (even if they are healthy). The holes where the removed trees were are treated with an insecticide to prevent the next generation of trees from getting attacked. Covering soil with a phosphate-based insecticide between trees when adults are first seen can also help reduce population numbers. Apple trees and other orchard fruit trees are also food sources.

When mature, female Ten-lined June Beetles release a pheromone into the air that males find irresistible. Males are also attracted to lights and large groups of them can be trapped by luring them with blacklight traps. Fertilized eggs are laid on the soil and larvae burrow down to find food and protection for winter months. Adults are active from middle to late summer. Adults audibly hiss when moved or disturbed.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Scarabaeidae
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          Genus: Polyphylla
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            Species: decemlineata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Polyphylla decemlineata
Other Name(s): Ten-lined June Bug; Watermelon Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 35mm (0.78" to 1.37")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; white; black; ivory
Descriptors: stripes; lines; antennae; face; hairy; flying

Ten-Lined-June-Beetle Video(s)

A hissing Ten-lined June Beetle, courtesy of Susan T.H..

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 20mm (0.8in) and 35mm (1.4in)
Lo: 20mm
Md: 27.5mm
Hi: 35mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Ten-lined June 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 Ten-lined June Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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