I was riding the Gold Line home last Thursday, my head resting comfortably against the window when something big and green and black bumped into the window as we pulled into Del Mar station. That certainly woke me up. I thought it was either a mutant bee or perhaps a locust or cicada, neither of which I could recall ever encountering in Southern California.
Then yesterday I’m walking my dog in Memorial Park in Pasadena — next door to the Gold Line tracks — and I come upon this lil’ dude who looks suspiciously like the thing that buzzed my train. When I got too close, the thing took off and buzzed around, so it can definitely fly.
Here’s my question for any transit-oriented entomologists out there: What the heck is it? Is this thing a native? Some quick googling leads me to think it may be a rose chafer, which is apparently common in Europe but present throughout the U.S. Is this correct, people?
UPDATE: Metro’s Twitter followers believe this is a Green June beetle, which is a native to the eastern U.S.
UPDATE #2: Strong evidence is emerging this is not a Green June beetle, but a Figeater beetle. From Ralph on our comment board: “Cotinis nitida (Green June Beetle) is not found west of Texas (other than a single report in Az.), however, Cotinis mutabilis (Figeater Beetle) is known to range in the Southwestern US & Mexico. I have seen them in my yard as well, feeding on our, (you guessed it) Fig Tree. I’m not sure whether the measurements are on body only or include leg length, but some in our yard are definetely longer than the 23 mm listed for C. nitida, again making the case for this being a C. mutabilis.”
Categories: Metro Lifestyle