Green June Beetle, Fig Beetle (Cotinis mutabilis)

Order: Coleoptera (ko-lee-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Scarabaeidae
Genus: Cotinis
Species: mutabilis


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Chino Valley, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Deer, Arkansas
Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
Canoga Park, California
Ceres, California
Chatsworth, California (2 reports)
Culver City, California
Highgrove, California
Imperial Beach, California
Irvine, California
La Jolla, California
Laguna Hills, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Lucerne Valley, California
Mission Viejo, California
Moreno Valley, California
Reseda, California
Sacramento, California
San Jose, California (2 reports)
Santa Ana, California
Sun City, California
Torrance, California
Valley Village, California
Woodland Hills, California (2 reports)
Yorba Linda, California
Yucca Valley, California
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Tularosa, New Mexico
South Ozone Park, New York
Gastonia, North Carolina
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
Santee, South Carolina
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Speedwell, Tennessee
Midlothian, Texas
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Nov 4, 2016, jimmeejam from La Jolla, CA wrote:

Must love the bomber giant green fig beetle as a sign of warm summer days. My son [and I] did a science fair project on their diapause. Comment below about eating corn I find apocryphal. They haven't mouth parts capable of that. And I am dubious about damage for commercial growers as they pretty much go after already split open fruit, not commercial quality. And for the home gardener they are only found on overripe or bird opened fruit. We can share with this beautiful scarab beetle. And the larva are primary decomposers in the compost pile, also beneficial. Skunks will raid your yard if you have sheet compost or deep mulch--they can hear the grubs and leave conical depressions in the morning where they have stuck their nose in for their juicy prize. Please let us all when possible... read more


On Jul 20, 2016, taffyblue from Norwalk, CA wrote:

If these are the same bugs I see in my yard, I hate them. It seems that they hang out at my neighbor's ficus tree and in the morning they fly around like crazy helicopters trying to bomb you and sometimes they do. The do NOT seem to know where they are going and often run into things, like my head, for instance. It seems that they even "AIM" for you. I hate them. When we were visiting Tulsa, OK, we all got into the car to go to church and somehow there was one in the car and it crawled down the back of my dress. YUCK!! Luckily, someone unzipped the dress and let it fly out BEFORE we got into the church. ICKY!!


On Jun 28, 2016, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

The 4 pictures posted by me were taken by Ken Blackford in San Diego, California and the copyright is his.


On Aug 10, 2014, catlady4 from Santee, SC wrote:

I found a beetle on my doorstep this morning. It was so unusual, I had to get a photo. When I picked it up, it was still alive but barely moving. I went into the house to get my iphone and macro lens, but when I came back to the bug, it was gone. I figured it must be a type that flies around with reckless abandon, hit the side of the house which knocked him silly and to the ground, and then he flew off once he recovered.

We are in the Low Country of South Carolina. There are lots of fig trees here in neighbors' yards. Hence the beetles are here. First time in 23 years of living in SC that I have encountered one of these. I'm really sorry I missed the photograph. I'll have to go check out the fig trees more closely.


On Aug 4, 2013, jstryder from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

From Los Angeles - we have numerous fig trees, grapes, citrus, guava, plums and other fruits crowded into a postage-stamp lot. There's always a few of the green figeater beetles around -- I thought they were the Green June Beetle but apparently that is the variety found in the Eastern US only. Never noticed these bugs damaging the figs or other fruits -- birds do far more damage. However, our vine produced a heavy crop this year. Once ripe, a swarm of these beetles flew in and damaged most of the crop. They quickly reduced juicy bunches of sweet grapes to smelly, rotten carcasses of drained husks. Hand picking the bugs is fairly easy and might have been effective if we had started doing it earlier.


On Aug 30, 2011, Friendulum from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

Figeater Beetles are HARDLY a pest! The ones that frequent my fig trees here in Culver City only eat fruit that's already been damaged by birds. Harmless to people, they buzz around loudly like little helicopters, and with their spectacularly metallic green colors, I think they're downright cute. I've never seen more than two or three at a time and they're always welcome in my backyard, where my two fig trees always have more than enough overripe fruit to go around for both the birds and these charmingly goofy little guys.


On Aug 15, 2011, bunny007 from Galt, CA wrote:

I live in Sacramento County and a couple of these beetles landed in my backyard. I was surprised because this is the first time I had ever seen the green beetle and was not even sure what kind of insect it was. Just wondered if anyone else has seen them in this area.


On Dec 7, 2010, femluc from Elizabethton, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

We have these in Northeast Tennessee also. I am not sure if it is the same beetle that devours my husband's prized roses, but they are a nuisance at best. They fly around in circles hovering the ground, making it difficult to do yardwork or mow without running over them. They drove my dogs nuts just by their very presence! If they are invasive to the rose bushes, I would declare them a definite negative, otherwise, just neutral.


On Sep 7, 2010, Pam3000 from Chatsworth, CA wrote:

I recently moved, but my previous home had a gorgeous fig tree in my backyard. It produced literally hundreds of figs each year, as well as hundreds of these beautiful beetles. I found the best way to keep the beetles from eating the figs is to pick the fruit at the moment of ripeness. The longer the figs are allowed to hang on the tree, the more likely they will become dinner for our little green friends. It's a daily process that requires a bit of work, but last year I had more figs than I knew what to do with (and I did leave a few on the tree for the beetles). Cats also love these bugs for obvious reasons. During the entire fig season, the neighborhood feral kitties managed to mangle a handful or two, but there were always plenty left to rebuild the population next year. Althoug... read more


On Feb 17, 2010, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I see from some of the other comments that these gorgeous beetles are considered destructive, which is a pity, since I plan on growing fig trees, if I get a chance. Whenever it rains here, one or two get caught in the drain-spouts and drown, the poor things. I'd thought these were similar to the Tiger Beetles (another iridescent green species, but a predatory one), but did some digging around and found these lovely little bugs. :)

I hope I can keep them from eating too many of the figs when I do happen to grow some!


On Aug 6, 2008, fiberholic from Saint David, AZ (Zone 8a) wrote:

They will also devour an ear of corn in minutes. Very destructive. Fortunately for me I finally have chickens near my garden and they love the beetles so they are getting the population under control.


On Jul 9, 2008, jungeoma from Tularosa, NM (Zone 7b) wrote:

The Fig Beetle is a very destructive insect to anyone in the South-West with fruit trees. It will devour Peaches, Plums, Figs and any soft-skinned fruit that ripens after it's emergence. A large number of them will cluster on the fruit and ruin it for sale. Their feeding behaviour is very much like that of Japanese Beetles.


On Sep 13, 2007, wormlady72 from Sacramento, CA wrote:

I loved these beetles when I was a child. My brothers and I would catch them, tie a thread to one leg, and let them fly in circles above us! The humming sound was fantastic! They seemed none the worse for wear...That was in Garden Grove CA. Back then we called them Japanese beetles. Any idea why?


On Jul 31, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I would put this as a positive praise for this beetle since it is so beautiful, but not sure how destructive it is. I don't have fig trees, yet there are lot of these living in my little garden. Are they hurting anything? They dig a hole in a planter, and I'm sure there eventually is a huge grub down there (sometimes get dug up when a new plant is added), but how desctructive is that grub? When I had figs at my last house, these were menaces as they ate tons of figs. But I have to say I still loved seeing their vibrant colors, and the low, loud hum of their flight was a thrill to encounter (a bit scary at first, like a gigantic bee flying by). Seem to harmless to people as I have captured many to look at them and they seem to be incapable of biting. In my current garden, loaded with... read more


On Jul 25, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

With it's deep vibrant geen color, this has been one of my favorite beetles.