Home / Scarab Beetles (Scarabaeidae) / Rainbow Scarab Beetle (Phanaeus vindex)

Rainbow Scarab Beetle (Phanaeus vindex)

Rainbow scarab beetle of the scarab beetles family is endemic to North America. They have an attractive coloration similar to that of a rainbow, hence the name.

Rainbow Scarab Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Scarabaeidae
  • Genus: Phanaeus
  • Scientific name: Phanaeus vindex

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 12. 70 – 22.22 mm (0.50 – 0.87 inches)

Color: Their body is a combination of several colors together. The rainbow scarab beetle has a metallic yellow head, black horns, a metallic green abdomen, a black and green underbelly, copper-colored thorax with green or yellow sides, and yellow antennae.

The females appear more brightly colored than their male counterparts.

Other Characteristic Features: They have a bulky body, oval or elongated in shape. Sexual dimorphism is prominent in this species. The males have large horns rising from the upper part of their head, curving towards their thorax. On the other hand, the horn remains absent in the female species. The upper part of the pronotum in both sexes has plate-like projections. However, in the males, the pronotum’s posterior part is pointed and also a little raised above their wing covers. In the female species, the raised appearance remains absent.

Female Rainbow Scarab Beetle

Larva

They are white, having a grub-like look, besides a plump, c-shaped soft body and a hard head. The larvae feed on the dung balls stocked for them in the tunnel by their parents until they get ready to enter the pupal phase.

Pupa

The pupation phase occurs underground, and the pupa finally matures to become adult beetles.

Egg

The female lays eggs in small chambers of soil made by the female inside the tunnel.

Quick Facts 

Adult lifespan3 – 6 months
Duration of larval stageNot recorded
DistributionEastern parts of the United States starting from Massachusetts up to South Dakota in the northern part, and from Texas till Florida in the southern region
HabitatForest pasture lands and in areas where they would find a considerable amount of dung to thrive
PredatorsMites
Seasons active fromNot recorded
Diet of larvae and adultsLarvae: Dung balls
Adults: Dung preferably of opossum and pig
Phanaeus vindex

Indentifying the Damage Caused by Them

Since they mostly feed on dung and other animal wastes, they do more good than harm by minimizing fecal matter, lessening chances of diseases particularly those caused by flies.

Did You Know

  • MacLeay described its species name in 1819.
Rainbow Scarab Dung Beetle

Image Source: i.pinimg.com, 64.media.tumblr.com, entomology.unl.edu, bugguide.net

Rainbow scarab beetle of the scarab beetles family is endemic to North America. They have an attractive coloration similar to that of a rainbow, hence the name.

Rainbow Scarab Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 12. 70 – 22.22 mm (0.50 – 0.87 inches)

Color: Their body is a combination of several colors together. The rainbow scarab beetle has a metallic yellow head, black horns, a metallic green abdomen, a black and green underbelly, copper-colored thorax with green or yellow sides, and yellow antennae.

The females appear more brightly colored than their male counterparts.

Other Characteristic Features: They have a bulky body, oval or elongated in shape. Sexual dimorphism is prominent in this species. The males have large horns rising from the upper part of their head, curving towards their thorax. On the other hand, the horn remains absent in the female species. The upper part of the pronotum in both sexes has plate-like projections. However, in the males, the pronotum’s posterior part is pointed and also a little raised above their wing covers. In the female species, the raised appearance remains absent.

Female Rainbow Scarab Beetle

Larva

They are white, having a grub-like look, besides a plump, c-shaped soft body and a hard head. The larvae feed on the dung balls stocked for them in the tunnel by their parents until they get ready to enter the pupal phase.

Pupa

The pupation phase occurs underground, and the pupa finally matures to become adult beetles.

Egg

The female lays eggs in small chambers of soil made by the female inside the tunnel.

Quick Facts 

Adult lifespan3 – 6 months
Duration of larval stageNot recorded
DistributionEastern parts of the United States starting from Massachusetts up to South Dakota in the northern part, and from Texas till Florida in the southern region
HabitatForest pasture lands and in areas where they would find a considerable amount of dung to thrive
PredatorsMites
Seasons active fromNot recorded
Diet of larvae and adultsLarvae: Dung balls
Adults: Dung preferably of opossum and pig
Phanaeus vindex

Indentifying the Damage Caused by Them

Since they mostly feed on dung and other animal wastes, they do more good than harm by minimizing fecal matter, lessening chances of diseases particularly those caused by flies.

Did You Know

  • MacLeay described its species name in 1819.
Rainbow Scarab Dung Beetle

Image Source: i.pinimg.com, 64.media.tumblr.com, entomology.unl.edu, bugguide.net

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