Joe knew a lot about beetles. He was fascinated by the different types there were. So you can imagine his excitement to find one trapped in the slider of the sliding glass door.
Joe had never seen this kind of beetle before so he pulled out his handy field guide…he always kept this in his back pocket for emergency purposes…and started looking through the section on beetles until he found it; the giant stag beetle.
Positive that this was the beetle trapped in the door (and thinking the name of it was pretty cool), Joe carefully corralled it into his bug house and set it on the table before heading over to the laptop to do some research.
His eyes widened as he read that although most were around 2 inches long, this particular beetle could grow up to 4.8 inches! His mom would love that…NOT.
It was called a “stag” beetle because its pincers, or mandibles, looked like stag (boy deer) antlers.
Joe smiled as he read that the boys liked to wrestle using their jaws…ouch. Usually they were fighting over a girl. He thought that was strange. Hmmm. Maybe, in the world of bugs, girls didn’t have cooties.
The girls were usually a little bit smaller than boys and had white on their bodies. Joe looked at the beetle hanging out in the bug house. He didn’t see any white so it was probably a boy.
He read on and found out that when they were kids, or larvae, they sat around for a few years eating rotting wood. They made a sort of shell from the soil and wood to protect them as they grew. They stayed in this shell until they were finally ready to become adults. They ate tree sap and spoiled fruit.
Joe glanced up at the fruit basket by the door and saw that there were some pretty brown bananas. He looked back at the stag beetle, wondering if that was where it was headed when he captured it.
He walked over and took one of dark brown bananas. He wasn’t sure how much it would eat, so he squeezed a little bit off the end and dropped it in the bug house.
Feeling thirsty, he went to the fridge to get some water.
When he came back to check on the beetle a minute or so later, it had already eaten half of the piece of banana he had given it.
Joe shook his head, a little sad that he had to let the beetle go. He had thought it would be cool to keep it as a pet, but he did not want to feed the beetle all of his bananas.
He released the beetle into the back yard and cleaned out the bug house. Then he went downstairs to find his mom and ask her if she would make him his favorite…banana bread.
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