Beetle massacre?A few kilometers makes a big difference. On my side of the village the beetles are certainly around but not in any alarming numbers, not that I can notice anyway. When I head to the primary school on the other side of the village things change quite a bit. It is hard not to run across one every couple of steps. The school itself seems to have a beetle infestation. There are heaps of dead beetles of various sizes in all the gutters and plenty more living in all the nooks and crannies of the structure. I don't know what attracts them to this particular spot or what causes them to die soon after arriving but it seems to be an annual event. The same sequence happened this time last year, the beetles come and then they go to the beetle graveyard of K-village to die. This beetle was squirming helplessly on its back until I decided to take pity. Not so much as one thank you. That is one ungrateful beetle.
As I was stepping over a particularly large pile of dead beetles today, I made a mental note to do a little beetle research. Wikipedia was my first stop but to drill down more on South African beetles I went to this site. I am positive there are better ways of identifying beetles but as a layman I liked the format presented here. It starts of identifying certain beetles by what they eat such as cicadas or leaves. Then it moves on to identifying beetles by where they live and then it gets to some really interesting beetles. Categories include: "Beetles with explosives and poisonous chemicals", "Beetles that use 'aqua lungs' " and "Beetles that are erroneously reputed to be good for sex".
I'll only repeat one of the many interesting facts if you were not inclined to click on any of the links because I am sure your attention span fades every time you read the word "beetles". Ready for it? Ok here it is, beetles comprise the largest group of currently identified species. As of now, a quarter of all identified life forms are beetles which means there are a lot of types of beetles. I'll leave it at that for you to ponder on and to put in your mental vault for the next time you play trivial pursuit or even "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire". If you win money from that little tidbit on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" I fully expect a cut from it, for beetle research of course.