Beetle: the insect that is a pet in Japan

It's super normal sometimes to have preferences for less traditional animals to have at home besides dogs and cats. Some have birds, others prefer rodents and so on!

But have you ever heard of raising beetles as a pet? For us it may be a little strange, but in Japan it is relatively common. Let's understand better the reason for such a preference.


Many kids in Japan like the idea of having a beetle as a pet.

To get an idea, it's not just finding a beetle and putting it in the house, but they have food and even a cage or little house to stay.

And it's not of any kind, but the most common ones to be found in Japan for this purpose are Kabuto Mushi (カブトムシ) and the Kuwagata (クワガタ).

Beetle: the insect that is a pet in japan

Kabuto Mushi – Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle

Mushi means insect in Japanese and kabuto means helmet in Japanese, which refers to the samurai helmet.

Males are forty to eighty millimeters long. The females are a little smaller and can reach sixty millimeters.

This species has as its main physical characteristic a long cephalic horn in the shape of the letter Y. This characteristic is often used by males for mating and to maintain territories.

He is dark brown in color with white or red eyes. Kabuto Mushi is present in Japan, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula and eastern China.

This species of beetle lasts an average of four months as a beetle. They usually die after mating.

These beetles cost an average of 500 to 1000 yen. They are sold as pets in department stores.

Kuwagata – Beetle with samurai helmet

The Japanese name Kuwagata comes from the stylized horns of a samurai helmet, which makes the popular insect.

This species can live up to three years. And its average size is 2.7cm to 8.3cm for the male. And for female it is 2.5 cm to 4.5 cm.

There are about 1200 varieties of species. This type of beetle is already rarer to be found and finding it for sale can cost around 40,000 to 150,000 yen

But the biggest ones that are called ''Black Diamonds'' can cost millions of yen.

Beetle: the insect that is a pet in japan

The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:

How did the preference for beetles come about?

Well for starters, it's good to point out that in relation to a cat or dog it takes up less space, eats less and doesn't need as much attention. That's why they can be found in large quantities in Japanese homes.

And those who usually choose to have these animals are the children who, in addition to buying, can capture them in the parks.

The best time to find these pets is in the summer. They usually don't roam around the house because the risk of stepping on them without realizing it is great.

So they are usually in plastic or glass cages with pieces of wood and other elements that contribute to making the container closer to the reality he is used to.

Their food is fruits and special foods that can be found in pet stores.

beetle boxing

Yes, that's right, there is even a sport that beetles are used. It is very similar to the boxing ring. This tournament is called ''King Beetle'' and takes place in Tokyo.

But these beetles should not be mere pets because the stronger ones win. Usually the prize is cash for the beetle owner.

This has become so popular that they are importing various breeds of beetles from other countries so that they can be used for this type of fight.

Beetles smuggled into Japan

In Bolivia, beetles are captured using traps that make them get stuck in fabrics. The most targeted beetles are members of the rhinoceros beetle subfamily.

This species is highly coveted in Japan because of the impressive horns that help in beetle fights.

Every year between January and May, hunters of the Dynastes species earn an average of thirty dollars for each live beetle.

In Japan this species can cost up to five hundred dollars. The price depends on the size, shape and length of the horns.

Hunters tend to these beetles until they reach their destination. As the species Dynastes satanas is rare and is still captured, it entered the list of endangered animals.

Beetle: the insect that is a pet in japan

These beetles are placed in plastic containers and cardboard boxes and sent by bus to an intermediary in Peru, who is responsible for forwarding them to Japan afterwards.

Illegal insect trafficking moves a lot of money, especially in Japan. Losing these insects would be harmful to everyone because they are responsible for the nutrients in the forests and aerate the soil.

The species that are usually smuggled are Satan Dynasts and Hercules beetles because they are larger than most common in Japan.

Another advantage over Japanese beetles is their lifespan, which can be up to two years.

Japanese beetle smugglers increasingly travel to Bolivia to hunt and avoid local suppliers.

They even pay tourist guides to find these beetles. But as there is no supervision there, it is difficult to be arrested for this, but it can happen during the journey.

Beetle: the insect that is a pet in japan

beetles in anime

Have you ever seen anime in which beetles were villains, who had powers or something?! That's because the Japanese like to portray things they like in these stories.

Examples where this happens are anime such as One Punch Man that one of the villains Ashura Kabuto, with the appearance of a gigantic rhinoceros beetle.

In the Metabots anime, Metabee is a character with his design based on a rhinoceros beetle.

In Digimon there is the giant electric beetle Mega Kabuterimon. Already Naruto, Shino Aburame won has secret techniques to control kikaichu insects.

And what did you think of the idea of creating a beetle as a pet?

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