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Japanese beetle

 Image of Japanese beetle

Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Scarabaeiformia
Superfamily: Scarabaeoidea
Family: Scarabaeidae

The beetle species Popillia japonica is commonly known as the Japanese beetle. It is about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) long and 1 cm (0.4 inches) wide, with iridescent copper-colored elytra and green thorax and head. It is not very destructive in Japan, where it is controlled by natural enemies.

In America, it is a serious pest of about 200 species of plants, including rose bushes, grapes, hops, canna, crape myrtles, and other plants. It is a clumsy flier, dropping several centimeters when it hits a wall. Japanese beetle traps therefore consist of a pair of crossed walls with a bag underneath, and are baited with floral scent, pheromone, or both. These insects damage plants by skeletonizing the foliage, that is, consuming only the leaf material between the veins.