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Who wants a pet beetle?
March 14, 2012 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Apparently big in Japan but gaining interest in other countries, raising and keeping giant beetles is a lucrative pet industry. If keeping the strongest creature on Earth for its size isn't your cup of tea, you could instead keep a tank of predatory diving beetles. Just make sure there aren't any escape routes.
posted by vegartanipla (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Excellent! I can see a little home profit center in doing flensing for my neighbors too!
posted by Naberius at 11:45 AM on March 14, 2012


The beetle aquarium should be tightly covered, as all species can and do fly, especially at night.

Ack!
posted by Splunge at 11:45 AM on March 14, 2012


Yep; when I used to live in Japan, on TV they had giant insect "battles" where they would put 2 large insects in a ring of some kind and make them "fight". I use scare quotes because usually they weren't fighting or battling but instead looked rather uninterested in their opponents and/or agitated for being in the ring under bright lights instead of under a rock or wherever they usually live.
posted by Hoopo at 11:50 AM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


the strongest creature on Earth for its size

I always thought ants, but that beetle blows them away by 10x. Cool. I guess that's why it gets the name, duh.

Yep; when I used to live in Japan, on TV they had giant insect "battles" where they would put 2 large insects in a ring of some kind and make them "fight".

How long before this is the equivalent of cock fighting? I say 635 years.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:52 AM on March 14, 2012


As is true of nearly all aquatic insects, Diving Beetles can bite – hard!

Yay!
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:00 PM on March 14, 2012


so instead of trying to put together a more thought-out reference I'm just going to post a link to a wikipedia article about a short story and note that until five minutes ago I had no idea said story was by George R. R. Martin.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:00 PM on March 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Invasive species, yay!
posted by Oddly at 12:07 PM on March 14, 2012


Huh.

I went into this thinking "giant beetles" would mean, you know, a couple inches. Maybe three.

Grubs that require two hands to hold up? No thanks, nature. No thanks.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:08 PM on March 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


the strongest creature on Earth for its size

I never liked this measurement... if you scaled up a beetle to human weight, it would just break its limbs, collapse, and die of suffocation simultaneously. If you scaled down a human until it weighed, say, 50 grams, it would also be able to carry many times its own weight.

I get that there are real marvels here owing to the mechanics of how it's put together. I just wish they'd compare it to a similarly-sized human.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:15 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The heck with those little water beetles. If you're goin' aquatic, get a Giant Water Bug. Those guys get up to 4 inches long!
posted by DaddyNewt at 12:46 PM on March 14, 2012


No. No. No. No. No. NO.
posted by Renoroc at 1:07 PM on March 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I actually found all these links a few weeks ago after I visited the New Orleans Insectarium, fell a little bit in love with a giant katydid and a tank of orange weevils, and briefly explored the logistics of beetle-owning, but I was reminded to post when I saw empath's recent FPP on these thought-to-be-extinct spooning insects. I was totally sad there was no picture of them actively spooning.
posted by vegartanipla at 1:11 PM on March 14, 2012


Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo is a doc that was shown on Independent Lens this season. Good stuff.
posted by heyho at 3:01 PM on March 14, 2012


Exotic pets and invasive species
posted by Brian B. at 4:10 PM on March 14, 2012


A pet that takes years to "hatch" and then lives a few months? What great fun!
posted by smoke at 4:12 PM on March 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I kept various species of diving beetles when I was a kid and I remember them as sleek, very aggressive predators. Basically the sharks of the insect world.
posted by elgilito at 6:22 PM on March 14, 2012


Me too. One of my favourite physiology classes was about how they use a bubble of air from the surface as a medium for gas exchange while they're underwater. I thought they were just breathing the air in the bubble, but the bubble is also exchanging CO2 and O2 with the water, allowing them to stay underwater much longer.
posted by sneebler at 7:14 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, there goes my sleep for the next week.
posted by schmod at 10:41 PM on March 14, 2012


I want one.
posted by wayland at 12:39 AM on March 15, 2012


W-why would you hold the larva in your hands, much less close to your face?! That just made me want to run away crying. (The beetle itself looked pretty cool though. Too bad it only had a few more months to live.)
posted by Wonton Cruelty at 12:39 AM on March 16, 2012


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