Monday, 17 May 2010
Darling bug of May
The arrival of this daft-looking creature, the maybug or cockchafer, always makes me smile. You couldn't make its appearance up. This one was much too dozy to fly but when they do, they cannon around like demented rockets. I wonder why they developed such impressive armour and so intimidating an appearance. There is any amount of entertaining information on cockchafers, which were one of the most obvious pests in simple farming times. They were put on trial in mediaeval France, used as toys by children (some of whom may have become entomologists...) and eaten in various startling recipes, one including sugar. My favourite reference is Thumbelina, where the lady cockroaches sit around discussing how ugly Thumbelina is - " Why, she has not even more than two legs!—that has a wretched appearance." " She has not any feelers!" cried another." Her waist is quite slender—fie!" In his gentle way, Hans Christian Andersen makes his valid point about beauty and the beholder.
Otherwise things continue very quiet, but at last it is getting warmer.
Here is a pug - I'm assuming a Brindled one, because most of them are at this time of year - adopting a 'butterfly pose' as they do when disturbed. The cockchafer certainly can't so this; its wings lie concealed and folded under its armour-plated wingcases, although a little scrap was sticking out above the tail of mine, like someone who hasn't tucked in their shirt properly.