What is it like having a gold beetle as pet!

RathnashikamaniStarred Page By Rathnashikamani, 15th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Spiders & Insects

"Marks Pet Ownership Guide Challenge" reminded me my childhood days in the village where I was born and brought up.

I recalled my old friend, a "gold beetle" whom I admired for his lustrous golden wings that were quite amazing to my child's mind full of curiosity and enthusiasm.

My one day pet - Gold Beetle

To the village school where I studied, few of my classmates used to bring some metallic bugs hidden in match boxes. They used to come all the way walking from far off hamlets where there were no schools, and they had to wade through the farm fields and rough terrain hedged with thorny bushes infested with some strange insects, of which creepers and fliers were often spotted as you walked along.

During the breaks when the teacher was gone after the teaching session, my friends used to flaunt those shiny, flying bugs whose necks were tied to some sewing thread not letting them fly away. I didn't know that they're called Gold Beetles in English language, because the medium of instruction in my school was my mother Tongue, Telugu.

Even I didn't know what they were called in Telugu, because I had never come across such beautiful creatures as I never ventured into the farm fields or the little bushy jungles to know what kind of bugs existed in the wild, away from my home.

They called them 'Bangannalu (బంగన్నలు)' (the singular is Banganna (బంగన్న) ) in dialectical Telugu, even now I don't know what they're called in standard Telugu literature. So Banganna () means gold beetle when translated into English --- Bangaram (బంగారం) means gold and anna (అన్న) means brother, so to say Banganna is a golden brother.

So, my classmates from the hamlets brought the gold beetles in match boxes which contained some fresh marigold leaves for them to munch while imprisoned in those tiny boxes.

They used to bring those wonderful bugs mostly during winter because winter is the time marigolds grow well and bloom to their full extent attracting many kinds of flying insects in the farm fields where the farmers plant them along side as hedges along the bordering edges of main crops.

I was fascinated by the colors of their glittering wings, and with great excitement I used to tell about them to my parents and siblings at home while we had our night meal.

I didn't know how it happened, but one evening a friend of my father came to us and gave me two match boxes telling that I must give one to my younger brother. To our surprise, there were two bright gold beetles one in each box having some marigold leaves that were so fresh and smelling great. Each of the beetles had a thread tied around their neck.

The next morning we carried the beetles to the school to show them to our friends. We played with them as they tried to fly away but we didn't let them off and held the string and pulled them back. But we never felt the pain they would have experienced while restrained with the strings around their necks.

When we returned home for lunch in the after-noon, they were found dead in the boxes, as we opened them to add some more marigold leaves for them to eat.

I still remember what my mother told on that day. She said, "It is sin to play with the insects tying strings around their necks. Those who play thus will be born as the same kind of insects while those insects would take birth as the humans and play in the same way as you did today".

The words were very strong and we understood their seriousness and the pain the beetles would have experienced while they were dragged with the strings and suffocated to death imprisoned in the confines of the match boxes.

My brother and me never ever had enjoyed playing with the gold beetles and our children do not know the pride of possessing those golden wings.

But I searched for the gold beetle played in my childhood...

To write this article narrating my experience of school days, I searched the internet to find some appropriate images of the gold beetles that resembled the ones we played that one day that became the last day of their innocent lives, but could not find anything as beautiful and lovely in their creation, maybe the images of such beetles were not yet uploaded to the internet by the enthusiastic photographers.

Maybe some day I hope to meet them when I go around in the farm fields of my village and I'm sure I would find some enthralling golden wings that rest on the blooming fragrant marigolds bordering the chili crops.

I have inserted some YouTube videos that found fascinating to watch.


Image credits:
Green gold-beetle By Rodrigomorante (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons

The following pages are interesting to read about gold beetles:

Bug alchemy: Gold and silver beetles shine with structural color

Taking care of my Pet Beetle: Oryctes Rhinoceros

Taking care of beetle larvae (grubs)

* * *
Here's the link to the article prompt:
"Marks Pet Ownership Guide Challenge

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Delicia Powers
21st Feb 2012 (#)

Very cool article and pet, great videos- thank you:0)...your Mother's words are wonderful life lessons, you are blessed to have such memories...

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
21st Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you Delicia, for the kind words.
My mother's words were the lessons of Karma, she used to explain the aspects of our actions from the view point of 'the cause and effect' though she was not much educated but she had a wonderful spiritual background which she imbibed from her father who was quite knowledgeable in ancient scriptures.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
21st Feb 2012 (#)

I have seen images of very beautiful beetles in magazines. Indeed if they are to be kept as pets it should be in a large, planted, vivarium, not as a pet on a leash.

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
21st Feb 2012 (#)

You're right Mark, the pets need to be cared for by providing them homely comfort and the pet owners need to exercise great caution in treating them especially to avoid inconvenience to them.

What I did as a child was very crude and without any proper guidance on how a small creature such as the gold beetle should be treated.

I found some really "gold beetle" images from the internet, and these are just amazing, but they're copyrighted and I cannot insert them as such in the article.


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author avatar Val Mills
21st Feb 2012 (#)

It is sad that as children we have little or no understanding of cruelty. But you learned well from your mother, she would be proud to read your article. The beetles sound really beautiful so I can understand a childhood fascination though.

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
21st Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you Val Mills for reading through my story.

My mother taught me how to be kind-hearted.

Children don't realize certain things unless we teach them with an example.

Now, I even hesitate to kill a mosquito or a cockroach by spraying some pesticide, but sometimes I can't avoid do so for the fear of infections they spread.

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author avatar Jules Castillo
21st Feb 2012 (#)

we used to catch the green ones...we call it "salaginto" here...."ginto" means gold

great page

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
22nd Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you so much, Rathnashikamani. This is a beautiful story about the golden beetle. Your mother's words stay in your memory because you knew in your heart that they were true.
Your friend, Ivyevelyn.

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author avatar Buzz
22nd Feb 2012 (#)

Cowboy is right. We call that beetle here "Salaginto". Wonderful pet article, my friend. Namaste!

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author avatar krrymarie
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

good article reminds me of what a friend and i used to do with snails!

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author avatar Retired
24th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks for sharing and bravo on a charming, great and very unique star page, Rathnaji! Namaste- rd

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Feb 2012 (#)

Brilliant - but I so agree with your mother's words. It's so cruel to attach these poor creatures to a necklace, no matter how good they may look. They are living creatures.
Superb story - so deserving of a yellow star you can hang round your neck without fear of cruelty!! Love ya, Rathna.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
25th Feb 2012 (#)

Another shining piece...many thanks Rathna

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author avatar Songbird B
26th Feb 2012 (#)

A fascinating Star page article Rathna.. I have never heard of these before, so this made informative reading my friend..

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author avatar Denise O
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Rathna, what a great story to add to Mark's challenge. It is well written and very entertaining. I sure hope one day you get your wish and you do see one as beautiful as the one you had for that day. What a lovely childhood story. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar richardpeeej
8th Mar 2012 (#)

What an unusual story and it shows that you can make a pet of anything....thank you for appreciating all that is natural in this world. A well deserved star for this Rath my friend ....

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author avatar Funom Makama
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Nice work Rath... It's been a while, so I thought maybe I check on you.

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author avatar johnbee
10th Mar 2012 (#)

We always called those beetles "June Bugs" and tied a length of thread to one of their hind legs. They were our pets too and they were fun to play with.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Mar 2012 (#)

Your mother's words of the consequences of ill treating other species, why even our own, touch my heart. It is how it should be - reap what we sow - plain and simple. Unusual pet but a lesson learned; we should enjoy them in their natural environs. Nicely said, Rathna - siva

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author avatar sarosh
18th Apr 2012 (#)

Strange..but it's beautiful

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