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Figeater Beetle

Cotinis mutabilis


Green beetle almost an inch long native to the US Southwest. It goes through a grub phase in my compost bin. They are poor fliers and terrify people by landing in their hair, but they are completely harmless. This one has Phoretic Mites who are not harmful to it but I think make it hard for it to fly.


In this case, an urban garden compost bin.


Answered quickly by Ornithoptera80!! I don't know what the orange stuff on this beetle is and would like help understanding it. Is it eggs? Illness?

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Tukup a year ago

What an unusual spotting Ave. And thanks for the info Ornithoptera. Amazing that such an infestation isn't harmful.

Ornithoptera80 a year ago

I remember seeing one of these mite "infested beetle" Cotinis mutabilis , when in Arizona a couple of years ago. But have never found them on Cotinis nitida before.

Ava T-B
Ava T-B a year ago

Thanks you so much Ornithoptera80!! I hope I see the beetle again, I'll rinse it off and let it fly!

Ornithoptera80 a year ago

The orange things on the beetle are Phoretic Mites, which are harmless and just want to hitch a ride to their food source since they cannot fly, or walk to eat.

Ava T-B
Spotted by
Ava T-B

San Diego, California, United States

Spotted on Aug 8, 2021
Submitted on Aug 13, 2021

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