Japanese Beetle Facts for Kids

A Picture of Two Japanese Beetles
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Scarabaeidae
  • Genus: Popillia
  • Species: Popillia japonica

13 Japanese Beetle Facts for Kids

  1. The Japanese beetle is a scarab beetle that is a member of the Popillia genus.
  2. The binominal name for the Japanese beetle is Popillia japonica.
  3. The Japanese beetle was first described by English entomologist Edward Newman in 1841.
  4. The Japanese beetle has iridescent copper-colored wings, a green thorax and head, and a row of white spots on each side of the body under their wings.
  5. The Japanese beetle is native to Japan, but also found in North America, with sparse populations found in Europe.
  6. The average adult size of a Japanese beetle is 0.6 inch in length and 0.4 inch in width.
  7. The Japanese beetle has four life stages, and they are egg, larva, pupa and adult.
  8. The entire lifecycle of a Japanese beetle takes one to two years depending on the climate. They cooler the climate the longer their lifecycle can take.
  9. An adult Japanese beetle lives between 30 and 45 days.
  10. In North America, the Japanese beetle is considered a destructive invasive species.
  11. The Japanese beetle is infamous for skeletonizing plant foliage. They only eat the leafy material between leaf veins. This ultimate can kill the plant if the damage is extensive enough.
  12. There are about 300 plant species that are hosts (food) for Japanese beetles.
  13. A common myth is Japanese beetle traps can control their population and protect your garden. These traps work by using a synthesized chemical to attract Japanese beetles. While you catch some of them, because they like to feed in groups this will attract even more to your garden.

Additional Resources with Japanese Beetle Facts