But what's that large insect flying low over the grass in the frontyard? A few showed up last week, and now there are maybe six or seven that circle and hover, but refuse to stay still long enough to allow a good look.
No, they aren't those scarily named cicada killers, or bee flies, or hoverflies.
Green June Beetle. The southern species is called a Fig Beetle, after its taste for the fermented juice in damaged fruit.
Here's a description from the Penn State website of their summer flying habits and one-generation-per-year approach to perpetuating themselves:
"Females fly over the turf’s surface early in the morning, while males fly from mid- to late morning. Females produce a substance that attracts the males to them prior to mating. After females mate, they dig into the turf to lay a cluster of 10 to 30 eggs in a compacted ball of soil about the size of a walnut. Females prefer moist organic soil. The eggs are nearly round, about 1/16 inch in diameter, absorb soil moisture, and hatch in 10 to 15 days. The grubs are nocturnal feeders and consume decaying organic matter. Larvae molt three times until they reach the third instar. As cool fall temperatures arrive, the nearly mature, 1½-inch third-instar grubs dig deeper in the soil to overwinter."