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Japanese beetle or Popillia japonica

Interesting facts: Japanese beetles have a curious, identifying defense: they lift their hind legs up in the air, even when simply approached. These hind legs are spiny, and the behavior is probably intended to ward off predators. Like all beetles, it is a weak flyer and drops 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.

According to Wikipedia, Japanese beetles are not very destructive in Japan, where it is controlled by natural enemies, but in the US it is a serious pest to rose bushes, grapes, crepe myrtles and other plants.

These insects damage plants by eating the surface material, leaving the veins in place, producing a curious, but alarming to the experienced gardener, “transparent leaf” effect on its victims.

Japanese Beetles feed on a large range of hosts, including leaves of plants of the following common crops: strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, roses, plums, pears, peaches, raspberries, blackberries.

The primary natural predator found in Japan is the winsome fly (Istocheta (or Hyperecteina) aldrichi), a parasitic fly.


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