Saturday, March 14, 2009


Since finals are right around the corner (next week) I have been rather busy and unable to go collect insects. Also, the weather has been pretty cold, so not much insect activity has been going on - even my captive caterpillars are less active and show less appetite. All the same, I feel it necessary to update periodically. One of my favorite insects is the green fruit beetle, a large common scarab beetle in San Diego county.

Coleoptera; Polyphaga; Scarabaeoidea; Scarabaeidae; Cetoniidae; Gymnetini; Cotinis mutabilis
Common Name: Green Fruit Beetle; Fig Beetle;

People call them "fig beetles" as well, since they are found eating figs and there are a lot of fig trees down here. There is a particularly huge one down at Balboa park and if you go there during the summer, you will inevitably see a few crushed green scarab beetles or they'll be flying awkwardly around the trees. They do not bite but their legs have very sharp claws. This specimen is a bit larger than average, about 1 and 1/4 inches long, 3/4 inches wide, and 1/2 inch high. Their larvae are about 1 inch long, white, and wrinkly in appearance. I was considering including a second scarabaeoid beetle in this entry, but it will have to wait - too tired to look up the likely species. Hopefully I will go collecting next week! I may also have a special feature on Grunions, as the Grunion runs are upon us here in San Diego!


  1. Thank you for posting such good photos of this Scarabaeidae specimen. I will use your photos as reference for a series of beetle replicas I will make using a variation on fly tying techniques. I will be posting pictures of them on my blog, so please come check them out.

    Thanks again, Doug.

  2. Wow, those are very nice :) I'm glad I could assist in the creative process!