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Hermit Flower Beetle

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Hermit Flower Beetle

Hermit Flower Beetle One of the largest insects in Iowa is a scarab beetle (Junebug) called the hermit flower beetle (Osmoderma eremicola). The adult beetles appear in July and August and are about one inch long and dark brown to mahogany brown in color. The hermit flower beetle is similar in general appearance to the typical Junebug except that it is not quite as oval and it is flat on the top. The beetles are strongly attracted to lights at night and are frequently discovered in a wide variety of situations. The adults are harmless and no control is needed.

Hermit Flower Beetle

Hermit Flower Beetle


The beetles develop from larvae that are extra large, c-shaped white grubs found in very rotted wood such as old stumps and logs on the ground.  Larvae may be up to 1.25 inches in length.  The larvae are not pests of trees; they are present only after the tree is dead and the wood has started to decay.


These large scarab beetle grubs are secondary invaders, that is, they are in the wood because of the presence of wet and rotting wood in the tree. Adult beetles emerge in mid-summer and females soon begin to lay eggs in hollow trunks, tree holes or other wet and decayed portions of the tree. There the larvae feed for three years on the wet, decaying wood. Both standing and felled trees, and occasionally stumps, serve as larval food. Just before the larva is ready to pupate (change into the adult), it constructs an oval pupal cell by cementing together small wood particles around itself. When completed, it then transforms into the adult.


Hermit Flower Beetle

Hermit Flower Beetle

Life Cycle:Adult beetles are large, black beetles that resemble June beetles. They are nocturnal and spend the day hiding in nooks and crannies in trees. Larvae have been found in several species of hardwood trees including beech, hickory, boxelder, elm, ash, hackberry, apple, cherry, oak, maple and cottonwood. There is no need to attempt to control the larvae with insecticides when they are discovered in a tree. They are harmless and probably make great fish bait.


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