Beetle mania

August 10th, 2009 by Felicity Hughes

beetle1Many children are infected by beetle mania during the summer holidays, hunting in the nation’s parks armed with insect nets and green plastic cages. This summer adult fans can take their passion for these six-legged critters to even greater lengths by purchasing their very own pair of Micro Stag Beetles for a whopping ¥10,000. Smaller than a grain of rice, these miniaturized plastic male and female models are only 2.6 mm long. Though models are incredibly detailed and stand up to scrutiny under a microscope, you may be asking yourself what a sane adult would prize such an item. (Via Tokyo Walker.)

The real live stag beetles, with their powerful front mandibles, are particularly suited to exciting insect fights and a large one might even set you back as much as ¥7,500 from an online dealer. There are many Web sites devoted to insect fights, such as Japanese Bug Fights in English and World’s Strongest Insect King Playoffs in Japanese.

Those worried about animal cruelty should note that the end of a stag beetle fight is usually signaled when a beetle is flipped on his back or pushed out of the fighting arena. Only male beetles fight and can be encouraged to do so by a specially built machine that emits the mating call of a female beetle.

While the plastic miniaturized version may not be able to be a contender in a tournament, its owner will have the satisfaction in knowing that it’ll be around a little longer than its live counterpart which, once hatched into an adult, rarely survives beyond the summer months.

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