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Fig Beetles

A fig eater beetle
Katja Schulz
/
Flickr
A fig eater beetle

Cotinis mutabilis, also known as the figeater beetle (also green fruit beetle or fig beetle), is a member of the scarab beetle family. Its habitat is primarily the southwestern United States and Mexico. Figeater beetles are often mistaken for green June beetles (Cotinis nitida) and occasionally Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica), which occur in the eastern US.

The figeater beetle is native to moister areas of the American southwest, where its natural diet includes fruit from cacti and sap from desert trees. Their range has expanded considerably since the 1960s with the increasing availability of home gardens, compost piles, and organic mulch. The adult's primary food has become fruit in gardens and orchards.

Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.