An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Dogbane Beetles Emerging & Mating

7-8-16  dogbane beetle 283After feeding on Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) roots and overwintering underground, larval Dogbane Beetles pupate and emerge in early summer, shortly after the Dogbane plant for which they were named begins to flower.  It’s hard to miss these iridescent beetles as they gather to feed on Dogbane leaves (which are poisonous to many creatures, including humans, and can cause cardiac arrest). Soon after the adult beetles emerge from the soil , they mate, usually about once a day, frequently early in the day.  Males search for and choose females to mate with.  Dogbane beetles often have more than one mate, so after breeding, males ride on the backs of the females to guard them from other suitors (see photo insert).

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13 responses

  1. These beetles do have the most beautiful iridescence.

    July 8, 2016 at 9:14 am

  2. Helen Downing

    They look like an economy-sized Japanese beetle.

    July 8, 2016 at 9:18 am

    • If I were a dogbane beetle, I might be very insulted by your comparison ! 🙂

      July 8, 2016 at 9:31 am

      • Cindy

        Hahaha

        July 10, 2016 at 9:21 am

  3. k

    What a gorgeous critter!!!

    July 8, 2016 at 10:04 am

  4. So pretty.

    July 8, 2016 at 10:47 am

  5. Very eye-catching!

    July 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm

  6. Alice Pratt

    Lots of info on the Dogbane Beetle…fun to learn!

    July 8, 2016 at 3:24 pm

  7. John Mathews

    Mary, I have beetles on my raspberries that look much like dogbanes. Are they the same, or are they what Ive probably incorrectly called Japanese beetles. John Mathews

    From: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland Reply-To: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2016 12:38:44 +0000 To: Subject: [New post] Dogbane Beetles Emerging & Mating

    Mary Holland posted: “After feeding on Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) roots and overwintering underground, larval Dogbane Beetles pupate and emerge in early summer, shortly after the Dogbane plant for which they were named begins to flower.  It¹s hard to miss these iridescent b”

    July 8, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    • I’m 99.9% sure you have Japanese beetles — they LOVE raspberries, unfortunately.

      July 8, 2016 at 6:11 pm

  8. Diane

    Japanese beetles love way TOO much!

    July 9, 2016 at 3:13 pm

  9. BR

    Thank you, Mary. My daughter LOVES your “Naturally Curious” book, and my brother, who is 61, did as well! Something I can sent to him in TX!

    oh, and I saw that you were a director of ELF. We loved that program, my kids are 40 and 37 and I had so much fun volunteering.

    Thank you!!! Bernadette in Barre VT (lived in Waterbury for ELF)

    July 11, 2016 at 6:57 pm

  10. Thank YOU, Bernadette. It’s always nice to know that there are others who share my love of the natural world!

    July 11, 2016 at 7:13 pm

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