Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Not-Yet-Beetle

Amanda: Matt has a new pet. We do not have a new pet because I refuse to let it live in our apartment. It is to be strictly a work pet (although it is still sitting in Matt's home office much to my dismay).

Matt: He is not such a bad pet because he is just going to sit there for three months! And he grows on you...a little bit. He's a beetle. Or... he will be one day. Right now he is just a larva. He is rather squishy.

Amanda: Matt dragged me to the local pet store and spent a long time agonizing over which species of beetle to purchase. He had only cups of dirt with a Japanese label to reference. He had to compare the label in Japanese to a map on the wall with pictures of the different kinds of beetle and their country of origin. He did not actually see his new pet until the cashier dumped out the dirt to prove their was a larva inside. She laughed at my unhappy face.

Matt: I originally wanted a Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle called a Kabuto Mushi. It literally means "Samurai helmet bug." I asked the sales lady (in Japanese) when they would be available, and she told me "roku tsuki" which means the sixth month because it is currently too cold in mainland Japan for larvae. I had to either wait for months, or pick one from a more temperate part of the world. I recognized a picture of one from South America from one of my books as a kid, and it was the Hercules Beetle. I used my phone for research, and I discovered that it is the strongest animal in the world. It can lift 850 times its own body weight! That would be the equivalent of me lifting 157,000 pounds. That is three bulldozers at once! I decided that it would do. If all else fails it could be my gym buddy.

Amanda: Matt just informed me that due to its strength the Hercules Beetle is able to escape from cages with metal bars (it can bend them) or lids that don't snap shut (it can lift it). Great. Of course Matt had to purchase all the necessary accessories as well to keep his new pet alive. Right now it just needs specialty dirt, but eventually it will need protein jelly to grow extra big. Yay.

Matt: Beetles are a huge part of Japanese culture. I had a pen pal as a kid, and he wrote to me about his beetles. They make them sumo wrestle each other. I consider this part of assimilating into the culture.

Amanda: Tilly is jealous. While Matt was changing out the dirt in its container, Tilly jumped on the desk and pushed the container off the desk. The larva rolled out, to the edge of the desk, and Matt had to catch it before it hit the floor. Tilly was then banished from the office, so she cried outside the closed door for a long, long time.

Matt: It is an easy pet to take care of. It lives in a tupperware container in a desk drawer!

What he looks like now.
What he will grow up to be. 


  1. Amanda, I would have the pest control number on speed dial! (Sorry Matt!)

  2. Ahh! Crazy! Hopefully it will stay in the container!

  3. Well, it will look like the pet a Marine would choose.

  4. I can so see Matt's excited face as he came home with his pet...I'm afraid it's going to freak Tilly out once it's full grown...haha

  5. Matt assures me it will live at work, so if it escapes it will be a problem for the Marines! They can handle big bugs better than I can :)