Thursday, January 3, 2013

More New Year's weirdness: the stag beetles' gavotte

What do you make of this juxtaposition? I forwarded the image to a bug professor I know, and he sent the following reply:
The beetle is indeed a stag beetle (Family Lucanidae), as indicated by the large mandibles and elbowed antennae. It appears to be attacking a mistletoe plant. Does it want a kiss? Does it hate mistletoe? Or is this a new observation that stag beetles feed on mistletoe? It would be fun to learn more about this card; maybe it was sent out by an entomological society or club, or by an individual beetle fancier.
All I know is that I got it from the "Graphics Fairy," who sends out all sorts of bizarre and beautiful finds daily (many of which have found their way to these pages). If there's a folk myth about beetles and New Year's, it's passed me by! Further reading? Beetles and Bugs: Nature Fact File. (This just goes to show, Daedalus has a book on just about anything.)

9 comments:

  1. The Beetles and Bugs: Nature Fact File book is marketed as a children's book but trust me when I say there is enough information about these magnificent creepy crawlies we call bugs to keep a grownups interest, even if beetles and bugs gross you out, they're still pretty fascinating little creatures and fun to read about!!!

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    1. creepy crawlies on a page -- that's where I like them~

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  2. Apparently the beetle is carrying a little love insurance to his office stag party.
    Following Daedalus's wide interests has led me down some pretty peculiar paths.
    Please continue to forage the left field for things to throw at us.
    And thanks to the bug professor. (You know such interesting people)!

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  3. Oh yes, indubitably. I wonder if there will be cross-species stags there!

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  4. 100 years ago, the Russian filmmaker Wladyslaw Starewicz’s work with stag beetles led him to become a pioneer of stop-motion animation. One of his short films, “The Insects’ Christmas,” shows scenes vaguely like the one pictured, with beetles skiing, skating, and dancing around a Christmas tree. That film, along with his earlier classic “The Cameraman’s Revenge” (about a beetle who two-times his wife by having an affair with a dragonfly), can be seen here.

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    1. And there, at the end of most of those peculiar paths, like Kilroy, you are there, RPS, with a clickable link.

      I got a look at "The Cameraman's Revenge"--and it recalled that quote about genius and madness being "near allied."
      It's too early in the morning; I'll finish it later. It will make the insanity of the everyday seem normal by contrast.

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    2. I agree ... what a wonderful discovery. I couldn't have loved it more & want to see all of his stuff now~

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    3. Sort of Ray Harryhausen meets Blake Edwards== and in 1912!
      So when did insects become the heavies in film? ("Them". "Mothra")
      Thanks, RPS! Definitely 5 cans of Raid!

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    4. Page the bug prof. The husband looks more like a dung beetle. (Probably on steroids).

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