Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2013


The Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Newman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), is a serious pest of many agricultural and horticultural plants. Relatively little research has investigated the distributions of Japanese beetles in agricultural fields, and this lack of information makes pest management more difficult. In the present study, the spatial distribution of Japanese beetles in soybean fields was examined. Specifically, how the distribution and abundance of beetles was affected by distance from an edge, edge direction, and edge type was examined. An edge effect for density was discovered; beetle numbers decreased significantly with increasing distance from the field edge. The east and south sides averaged higher numbers of beetles than the north and west. Downwind edges, in particular downwind edges adjacent to hedgerows, also had significantly higher beetle densities. In addition, females relatively far from the edge had larger egg loads than those closer to the edge. Differences in aggregation seeking behavior, in combination with movement in relation to wind and obstructions such as hedgerows, are possible explanations for these spatial patterns.


Sara SA, McCallen EB, Switzer PV. 2013. The spatial distribution of the Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, in soybean fields. Journal of Insect Science 13:36. Available online: http://www.insectscience.org/13.36

Included in

Biology Commons