Follow by Email - get notifications of new posts. :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Beetle Drama: Good Samaritan

I found this beetle in the community garden early this morning, stuck on the mesh fencing. I believe it's a cockchafer beetle (related to American June bugs and Australian Christmas beetles). And I think it's the adult version of our giant compost grubs.

He was really, really stuck, and despite his horror-show appearance, I felt kind of bad for him.  So I looked more closely: he'd apparently had his wings open while sitting/landing at the top of the fence and when he tried to re-fold them, the inner wings got all wrapped around the top string. 

I took a deep breath and wrangled for several minutes with those really clingy claws grabbing onto me.  I finally realized the string couldn't just be unwound or pulled out without causing a lot of damage.  Physical damage to him; psychological damage to me now that I was on this mission.

Alas. I cut the string attaching him to the fence and brought him home.  Like you do.

After disturbing my just-waking children with the giant beetle, I gathered my make-up tools and did some minor beetle surgery.  I removed the remaining string bits and he quickly readjusted his wings.  

Success!  Just like new!  

At which point he ran headlong off the table and fell right into my lap.  Ok, it's time to go, buddy.  

Not wanting to do the whole elevator ritual with a giant beetIe plus hordes of little kids heading to school, I walked my new friend over to our sliding door, calculated all the wind speeds and throwing forces needed to get this guy over the cement driveway and into the trees and grass where he could resume his beetle-y life.

Freed beetle.  Tools.  String bits.
I really, really expected him to fly, or at least glide, or do something at all useful in his own rescue.  Nope.  Five long stories below, at the edge of the grass he bounced.  Twice.