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Disclaimer: if you’re squeemish about bugs and spiders, this post only gets worse as you continue.

This.  I would like one of these as a pet.  It is a Japanese beetle and it is considered a bit of a pest here in the US.  But when my mother was growing up in Taiwan, they weren’t as there are natural predators there.  She used to catch them as a girl and tie a string around their legs and watch them fly about.  They’re pretty clumsy fliers.  I can’t imagine what they’d be like trying to fly with a string attached to its leg.

Oh, so I’d really also like a rhinocerous beetle.

See?  Even their larvae are cute!  Too bad they aren’t native to the US.  Or at least, there aren’t too many species native to the US.

Anyway, we have some grapevines in the backyard but I’ve never really seen any Japanese beetles hanging around the plants.  I suppose that’s good for us, since we still get to eat grapes, but I really want a beetle.  Grampaw, one of my colleagues at work, says that he has hordes of them hanging around his grape plants in his backyard.  HORDES!  I’ve petitioned, unsuccessfully, for the last couple of years for him to catch one for me.  He keeps refusing.  I think he’s secretly afraid of them.  Or maybe just disgusted by them.  It’s still unfair though.  He gets a huge supply of Japanese beetles and he just lets them go to waste!

So then, you may be thinking that it’s really weird for me to be asking my coworkers to catch bugs for me.  You may think that they are just so weirded out by me asking them such questions.  Not really.  I’ve kind of desensitized them to my weirdness.  At least regarding bugs.  I’ve caught and jarred several bugs during my tenure at the office.  I’ve caught:

  • a species darkling beetle (I don’t remember which one, I ended up giving it someone for a school project)
  • a moth (because it was available)
  • a fly (actually FSB caught this for me, and by caught I mean that he found the fly dead in a vial and then he gave it to me)
  • lots of fruitflies (because they’re so annoying)
  • a pincher bug (I think they look cute and I ended up letting this one go because I found out that they can live for a pretty long time and I didn’t want it to be bored to death)
  • I think I have an ant in a vial somewhere

Besides these, I also had a brown widow spider.

I didn’t actually catch this one, she caught herself.  We had left some empty, open vials out on the table one night and she crawled into one.  She was a pretty stupid spider because the vial was barely big enough to fit her.  Grampaw found her the next morning and stoppered the vial to give to me later in the day.  That was nice of him.  I ended up giving her to SMW, another one of my coworkers, because once he caught a black widow spider with his own hands and put it in a jar.

After that, he caught flies for her.  I think he ended up setting her free.  I don’t remember.  Anyhoo, he liked the brown widow spider a lot because they have geometrical patterns on their abdomens.  We would take turns looking at it under a magnifying lens.

And just to leave you with something interesting, here is an article about how tarantulas really do leave silk footprints around because they actually can spin silk from their feet and not just from their spinnerets at their butt.

Also, I think I might also like a Mexican flame-knee tarantula as a pet.  Yaris would be so displeased with me though.


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