Fig Beetle Grub

| October 20, 2012 | 14 Replies

Fig Beetle Grub. This year I discovered my first fig beetle grub, or larva. Also, known as a June Bug. Eggs are laid by the adults during the summer under pots or just under the soil surface and when the grubs hatch they burrow down and inch or two and spend the winter under the soil.

Fig Beetle Grub - Close-up of head

Fig Beetle Grub, on It’s Back, Legs in Air

They feed on the roots of grass, so can be destructive to lawns. When disturbed, as this one was, they scoot quickly towards anything dark, looking for soil. They slide on their back, and use the legs only when burrowed in soil.

Fig Beetle Grub - covered in soil particles

Fig Beetle Grub on it’s Back

Click here for video on Late Bloomer Show Facebook page. You can see the size measured against my finger near the end of the clip. It is dragging itself on it’s back, as those are it’s short legs sticking up in the air. And it can move fast! I plan to gift this to my neighbor’s chickens.

 Thanks for stopping by! Isn’t the natural world amazing? 🙂 – Kaye

Update 2014: This summer I had many fig beetles flying around my garden laying eggs, and have already discovered 5 grubs, with no doubt more to come. They fly very clumsily and will fly right by your head or bang into you. It’s quite loud. I was able to knock a few out of the air with my sunhat. They won’t hurt you and are absolutely gorgeous with their metallic green underside. But, they are a pest and the beetles suck on soft fruits, like figs and plums, possibly even tomatoes. CLICK HERE to see an adult Fig Beetle.

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Category: Critters, Pests

Comments (14)

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  1. flamidwyfe says:

    He’s so cute! I bet the chickens loved him!

    • In fact, he spent the whole afternoon and night in a jar, because I didn’t see her email that she was home. If it’s still alive in the morning, I will drop it off for the chickens. I’m sure they will fight over it. – Kaye

  2. Aubrey Moore says:

    Hi Kaye,

    This peculiar behavior, crawling on its back, indicates that this scarab grub probably belongs to the subfamily Cetoniinae, which is the flower beetles (see Rhino beetles belong to another subfamily of scarabs, the Dynastinae, and these almost always crawl on their side, also a peculiar mode of locomotion.

    All the Best,

    – Aubrey

    Aubrey Moore
    Extension Entomologist
    University of Guam

    • Aubrey, I don’t know how you found Late Bloomer, but it’s very exciting to have an entomologist reading my blog! Thank you for the valuable information! I arrived at the Rhino conclusion Looking at photos on the internet, but defining characteristics like the crawling on it’s back (and I don’t know how it crawls underground, it must use those little legs somehow), is something an expert would know. I was going to take it to my neighbor’s chickens, but can I keep it alive till it morphs, so we can see just what kind of beetle it is? Will it live in a jar with dirt, a few drops of water every week, with holes in the lid? I hope you will also correctly identify what I think was a Fig Beetle in this post: as this might be the larvae of that specific beetle. It was about an inch long. Here’s a closer look at the head. Thank you! 🙂 – Kaye

      • Aubrey, if it takes all winter to morph, I’m afraid I don’t want to try to keep it alive in a jar that long! Please let me know! – Kaye

        • Aubrey Moore says:


          I discovered your post because I have a Google Alert set up for “rhino beetle”. I am am working on the coconut rhinoceros beetle which was first detected on Guam in 2007. This is a major pest of coconut palms.
          If you want to try rearing your grub to adult so that it can be identified, you can put it in a container with some soil rich in organic matter. We are able to rear our rhino beetles from egg to adult by putting them individually in 1 quart Mason jars filled with a top soil/steer manure blend which we buy at the hardware store.

          All the Best,

          – Aubrey

      • Aubrey, thank you! But, how long will it take? 🙂 – Kaye

      • Aubrey Moore says:

        Hard to predict how long it will take for the grub to turn into an adult. At some point it will stop feeding and turn into a pupa. The adult will emerge from the pupa several weeks later. My guess is that the process will take 2 or 3 months at room temperature.

  3. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi Kaye, I’ve gotta admit that I just about jumped right out of my chair when your blog page appeared on the computer screen! What a bizarre looking thing it is, eh? So, are you going to give it a go – raising it to maturity, that is? Thanks for sharing: )
    And why on(under; ) earth do they “crawl” on their backs? (Mr. Moore/Dr./Professor/Aubrey?)

    • Deb, gotcha, haha!! SO bizarre. Thing is, there are a zillion grubs under people lawns, but, they are usually half this size. When they are larger, they really make an impression! Depending on how long the process is, I’m going to give it a try raising it. I mean, I don’t have to do a thing, so why not find out what it really is?

  4. OMG – looks like something from an old horror movie!

    • It’s curled up in a jar in my kitchen window, and will be there for the duration! – Kaye

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Oh my Kaye! I’ve just looked at the wiki link that (Professor?) Aubrey Moore sent you and these grubs are absolutely glorious as adults!! Guess you just never know, eh? Talk about the ugly duckling…
        So, have you given him some lovely moo-poo-compost/garden-soil combo to snack on for final stage metamorphosis prep? (Can’t wait to see which (if any) of these marvellous beetles he turns out to be: )

      • Yes, Deb, well, I presume it’s fine down there. I don’t really want to dig it out and poke it to see if it’s still alive. I’m very interested to see what it turns out to be. My neighbor, C.L., said he’s never seen one that big, but I will be very disappointed if it turns out to be a Fig Beetle, like the one I photographed earlier. Seems to be a big coincidence, never having seen one before and to find a grub a month later nearby. Hmmmmm.

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