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California born by a Cuban mother, married to a Japanese man, and have lived in Japan since 2004, minus one year living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have friends and family in many places in the world. I dreamed of traveling to many distant lands, creating music and dancing to it, meeting interesting people, and discovering treasures in the most unlikely of places.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Kuagata mushi" and "Kabuto mushi"

I wanted to share my favorite bugs with you, and give you a little background, too.
When I lived in Mexico, when I was 12, we had to do a horrible homework task, for which I got a "0" because I didn't do it. I have never done anything that involved extreme animal cruelty for school, and I consider this to be cruel. Each student had to find 30+ bugs, freeze them, and pin them to a cardboard and identify them. I didn't want to hurt the bugs, so I didn't do it. But other kids did, and they came back with some huge beetles, with horns and fangs.

At the time, I thought that they were really strange, but now that I live in Japan, I know that they are the most popular pet in this country. Every little 5 yo boy has at least one. They fight them, the one that gets the other one out of the circular area wins. At least, this is legendary, but I haven't ever actually seen them fight them. Mostly they jst hold the bugs and play with them. There are two kinds, Kuagata mushi(Stag Beetles, in English), with jaws, and Kabuto mushi (Rhinoceros Beetles), with big horns. I like Kuagata best.
From June 2009

They eat nutritious jelly that you can buy at the store here in Japan... in other countries you could feed them watered down maple syrup or honey maybe soaked in a paper towel. In the wild they eat sap, nectar and fruit as adults, and wood chips as larvae.
Here is more information about Stag Beetles, or Kuagata Mushi.
They are kept in plastic containers, in woody soil, with their jelly, over the summer.
They are found all over the world.

I don't recommend keeping them as pets (for more than a few days),
because they only have a few months to mate, after having been underground as larvae for a long time, one to three years. They die if you touch them too much, too.
So I keep my beetles for a few hours, and then let them go. They are fun to play with.
The last time I let one go, I put her in one of my planters outside, and she came back the next night for me to feed her some more jelly!
It was cute.
From June 2009

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