June Bug / May Beetle

Technically, this is neither a June bug nor a May beetle as I found this individual in April. It is not a true bug; it is instead a scarab beetle, Phyllophaga sp. Alas, further identification would require me becoming very personal with this little guy, and, as always, I prefer not to damage my photo subjects. There are more than 400 local species in the genus, ranging in size from 12-35mm.

June bugs are nocturnal — in fact, this individual was photographed visiting my porch light in the evening — and hide underground, or under grass or leaves, during the day. The larvae, which are white grubs, live underground and eat the roots of grasses and other plants. Adults eat the leaves of plants. Both larvae and adults can severely damage plants when present in large numbers.

There’s a story behind the photo below, but darned if I know what it is. His back half, very smushed, was on the far end of the driveway, being eaten by ants. His front half, looking as though it is sticking directly out of the concrete, was up near the house, also being eaten by ants. This is Eric the Half A Beetle:

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