Green Fruit Beetles or Japanese Beetles?

We've had many reports in the last two weeks from people asking what those big green, buzzing, beetles are. Green fruit beetles (Cotinis mutabilis) are members of the scarab beetle family and are sometimes known as fig beetles or figeater beetles. They are related to green June beetles (C. nitida) which are more commonly found in the South Eastern United States.

Green fruit beetles have a metallic green color and can be up to 1 1/3 inches long with prominent legs and antennae. The adults eat maturing soft fruit like figs and stone fruits, while the larvae (grubs) are found in compost or other decomposing matter. More on these occasional pests can be found on our website.

Japanese beetle (left) and green June beetle (right). (Credit: A Guitierrez, CDFA).
Sometimes, green fruit beetles may be mistaken for Japanese beetles, which have not established in California. The Japanese beetle is much smaller in size, about ½ inch long, with copper brown wings. Read about the invasive Japanese beetle on the CDFA website.


By Elaine Lander
Author - Urban & Community IPM Educator