Grubbing Through The Soil


Japanese Beetle Larva

By late October, Japanese Beetle adults in Indiana have died, but their larvae are still feeding under the soil. The C-shaped grubs have powerful mouthparts for chewing on the roots of grass. A grub often feeds in one spot until the roots in an area are all devoured. A grub will then dig with its mandibles and use its legs to push loose soil behind it. In this manner the grub can tunnel slowly through the soil. A Japanese beetle grub can tunnel over 6 meters in a month in search of food.

When the soil temperature drops, the grubs respond by tunneling vertically below the freeze line and spend the winter warm, deep under the soil. When soil temperatures rise, the grubs actively tunnel toward the surface to resume feeding.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Grubbing Through The Soil

  1. Pingback: Grubbing Through The Soil | Living With Insects Blog

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