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Phyllophaga crinita - A Beetle

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  • Neal Robbins
        This link has photos of Phyllophaga crinita. http://bugguide.net/node/view/222481     Phyllophaga crinita is a beetle. It is in the order Coleoptera,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2013
          This link has photos of Phyllophaga crinita.
          Phyllophaga crinita is a beetle. It is in the order Coleoptera, the family Scarabaeidae, and the subfamily Melolonthinae. This insect is native to the USA and Mexico. It is found in Texas, Louisian, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Iowa in the USA. Phylophaga crinita is seen in Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, and Nuevo Leon in Mexico.
          Phyllophaga crinita is 1.3-1.7 cm. (0.51-0.67 in.) in length. The coloration is reddish brown. The body is heavy and has six wiry legs. There are two pairs of wings. The anterior pair (elytra) are leathery and function as covers for the hindwings. While Phyllophaga crinita is flying, the elytra are held out to the sides. The elytra do not take part in the flight. The hindwings perform the mechanics of flying.
          Phyllophaga crinita is an herbivore and typically feeds at night. It eats foliage of coniferous and broadleaf trees. This sometimes causes a substantial amount of defoliation. The larvae feed on roots of grass, which can decrease the chances of survival for the vegetation. Larvae are also known to eat roots of ornamental crops, weeds, and vegetable transplants. Their feeding can have detrimental effects upon corn, sugarcane, and sorghum.
          Breeding occurs in late spring or summer. After mating, the female lays her eggs in the soil. The eggs are deposited in a tunnel that is 5.41-13.5 cm. (2.1-5.3 inches) deep. A clutch consists of 30-40 eggs. The small white grubs hatch after 3-4 weeks. The larvae go through three stages that are called instars. The first two instars take about three weeks. The last larval instar stays in the soild during the fall and winter. It is followed by the pupal stage, which occurs in the spring and early summer. Adults come out of the puparium after about three weeks.
          Phyllophaga crinita is a flier. However, it is not very fast or skillful at flying. Phyllophaga crinita flies at about 8 km. (4.97 miles) an hour. This insect is very much attracted to light.
          Flies of the family Pyrgotidae are endoparisitoids of Phyllophaga and other beetles. The female flies chase the beetles in flight. They lay an egg on the beetle's back underneath the elytra. After the egg hatches, the fly larva goes into the body cavity of the beetle. It feeds on and ultimately kills the host before pupating.
          Various wasps are parasitoids of Phyllophaga crinita. For example, females of the species Pelecinus polyturator (in the family Pelecinidae) lay their eggs on the grubs of Phyllophaga species, including Phyllophaga crinita. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the Phyllophaga grubs.
          This publication is a reference:
      S. Knight. 2001. "Phyllophaga crinita" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 13, 2013 at
          Neal Robbins
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