Thursday, July 31, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Green June Beetle On Defense

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 28, 2014.  A 1" Green June Beetle (also known as a June Bug) flew loudly in to the yard and began crawling around the mulch. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 28, 2014.  Both dogs were immediately attracted to the iridescent blue-green-gold visitor & tried to play with it, approaching the scarab beetle from behind.  Each time they would get within about a foot or less, both dogs started sneezing & shaking their heads.  It must have emitted some defensive scent only the dogs could smell since neither my neighbor nor I could detect it.  And I was pretty close trying to get decent photos with my phone.  

The scent only excited the dogs more.  They chased the bug more aggressively, while keeping a good 12" distance from it, as it alternately flew & walked around the yard.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 28, 2014.  The June Bug flew into a nearby spider web, struggled briefly, buzzing loudly before freeing itself.  It flew over to some dense leaf matter quickly disappeared digging into it.  It was likely looking for a place to lay its eggs.  The dogs were kept a close eye, but did not go digging after it.

This was a very small, 1" Green June Beetle (Cotinus nitida).  The dogs usually won't go near the more typical 2" long June Bugs we see in our yard.  Apparently, we're lucky we don't see swarms of these giant but beautiful scarab beetles, as they do in other parts of the country: What's That Bug?