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Sep 12 2005

The Meaninglessness of Nature

Beetle_c_nitida

A couple of Cotinis nitida, Green June Beetles, in flagrante delicto, photographed by Twisty in North South Austin, September 2005

It will interest no one to hear that this morning I emerged blinking from my lair into a huge swarm of green junebugs. There must have been a hundred of’em, or possibly a thousand. They were buzzing like nobody’s business, too, employing that humorous method of navigation peculiar to junebugs, which is to hurl themselves through the air at full throttle until they bump into something, usually your eye, then buzz off on the new trajectory.

I’m just an amateur scarabologist, but I’m reasonably sure that when green junebugs swarm without explanation, it doesn’t portend shit.

15 comments

1 ping

  1. AdamB

    You know, I think they are rather pretty bugs. For some reason beetles (outside of roaches, which I beleive are a type of beetle technically, though I could be wrong) have never had any sort of ew factor for me. I guess I just don’t associate them with any sort of health or hygeine issue (unlike flies, ants, mosquitoes, silver fish, cockroaches, etc.)

  2. AndiF

    I am really sentimental about junebugs because the sweetest dog that ever owned me was crazy about them. Just about every summer night, our house would resonate with the sound of Nugeli thumping against the side of the house in order to catch junebugs. As far as I could tell she never ate any; she’d just “pop” the one she’d caught and then go after the next one.

  3. Stephanie

    I’m just an amateur scarabologist, but I’m reasonably sure that when green junebugs swarm without explanation, it doesn’t portend shit.

    Well, it does portend junebug shit, anyway.

  4. ae

    Great junebug nookie action shot, Twisty! Just gorgeous. You should do a naturalist guide for North South Austin. These are damn good. The leaves underneath look so pretty.

    AdamB, silverfish rank right up there with Tim and Beverly LaHaye in giving me the heebie jeebies. Brrrr.

  5. Becker

    Proper junebugs have been gone from Missouri for so long people have come to give the name to different beetles altogether. It’s sad, but then again, what good are junebugs if you don’t have string? I mean, who has string anymore?

  6. Xavier Harkonnen

    In Utah we call them Box Elder bugs. My friend Joe calls them fuckbugs, because they frequently and unashamedly transfer DNA right in front of you.

  7. bitchphd

    They are pretty, and I love the sound they make. Them and cicadas.

  8. Orange

    Aw, we don’t have any giant green beetles around these parts. The last two swarming infestations I witnessed were far more horrifying than iridescent sex-crazed bugs: thick clouds of gnats that made the air gray, and hordes of millipedes that punished their killers by releasing a stink when stomped on.

  9. e2

    Xavier, I’m from northern Utah (right near Box Elder County) and we don’t call those Box Elder bugs. We call Twisty’s bugs pretty.

    Box Elder bugs are those nasty little critters with red on their backs that congregate in great masses, usually on the outside of your dilapidated fake stucco rental, and then migrate to your inner sanctum throughout the winter. They then tend to fall, with alarming regularity, into your nice, beautifully topped off homebrew and taste like juniper berries. The cat won’t eat them. Hell, even the fish won’t eat them!

  10. Chris Clarke

    In Utah we call them Box Elder bugs.

    That’s interesting, Xavier, because in both Virginia and California (and, apparently from the upcoming link, in Illinois) “box elder bugs” refers to these cute little guys.

    I like watching the ways common names for organisms change from place to place.

    (Writing the obligatory joke about “entomology” and “etymology” has been left as an exercise for the reader.)

  11. Twisty

    Something funky with your link, Chris.

  12. Twisty

    They are pretty, and I love the sound they make.

    I just went out to photograph a ventral view of one of these beetles, because that’s where the real action is, crazy-irridescent-metallic-wise, but they all appear to have vanished as mysteriously as they arrived. Dang.

  13. Chris Clarke

    Something funky with your link, Chris.

    I love those old George Clinton songs.

    Erm I mean that’s strange. Let’s try this one.

  14. nina

    That one’s funky, too, Chris. You just can’t stop the funk today.

  15. Chris Clarke

    Make my funk the C. funk; I want to get funked up.

  1. BlogBites

    I’m just an amateur scarabologist, but I’m reasonably sure that when green junebugs swarm without explanation, it doesn’t portend shit.

    I Blame The Patriarchy

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