They are found in East Asia, but were introduced to North America almost 100 years ago and are now found all over the United States.
They are able to live in any habitat that has green plants for food.
As adults, they are up to ½” long with a shiny (iridescent) green head and golden, green middle section (thorax). Their back section (abdomen) is shiny green and golden brown with ridges that run from front to back. This back section is a hard covering for wings. Their young stage is a light-colored worm (grub) with a brown head and dark end. They are c-shaped in this stage.
They feed in groups, sometimes doing major damage to trees, lawns and crops.
They eat the leaves, flowers and fruits of more than 200 kinds (species) of trees, shrubs, grasses and crops. This makes them a serious pest to humans.
When their eggs hatch in late summer, the young grubs live underground feeding on the roots of plants. They sleep all winter and then in the spring feed and grow. By summer, they form a cocoon (pupate). Then, in mid-summer, they hatch out into their adult beetle form. The adults feed and mate and the females lay eggs in the soil where the cycle starts all over again.
Borrer, Donald J. and Richard E.White. Insects. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company,1970.
Species: Popillia japonica
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