Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sounds of Summer

The adult Ten-Lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decimlineata) emerges from its shallow pupal chamber around the roots of its host plants sometime in the month of July.

Before it has much chance to enjoy the next stage in its life-cycle, it flies dangerously close to the front patio of Spider Girl's home where it is batted out of the air with phenomenal accuracy by a fat cat called Colby, brought inside, and crunched between feline jaws with gusto.

These insects sometimes put up a fight and can hiss quite loudly I've discovered. I rescued one of the more survival-oriented from Colby and the wee bug waved its feelers ungratefully at me and produced a sound I've come to associate with Fear Factor and its mascot bug, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.

I released the fortunate insect out the front door, but my cat merely ran upstairs again, out onto the deck and swatted down another june beetle.

This last week I've found close to ten dessicated little striped bug corpses around the house. As I fall asleep I hear:

WHACK! Bzzzzzzz! Some scrabbling around. Then Hiss! Hiss! Crunching sounds. Then silence. For a while.

To see her lying in the sun, you wouldn't think she'd have the speed and reflexes to take a bug down out of the air with such stunning accuracy in the dark. I'm impressed.



12 comments:

Mel said...

Cats are tricky like that! Dogs will get too impatient and pissed off but cats just wait for the right time.

erikku said...

That is one fierce cat.

Grant said...

Maybe your cat needs more of a challenge. Do they have any wild badgers in your neck of the woods? If not, do you want to borrow mine?

blackcrag said...

I haven't spent much time with Colb. But he didn't seem all the active to me. Maybe he's nocturnal, and I've only met him in the daytime. Are the beetles what made him fat? They are high in protein, I hear.

Dagoth said...

Hi Spider

She's just earning her keep, helping out around the house. I can tell from the pic how exhausted she is from polishing that table she's on...

Tai said...

I may have to rent her temporarily...the whirling fly/bugs are back and they're making me dizzy.

Bebe is no help. I mean, she's more help than Bent, but she's no help.

Nihilistic said...

I could not hold that huge bug in my hand...I would cry!

H.E.Eigler said...

Gotta love cats! Mine killed a very offensive hair elastic this morning. He was soooo proud :)

Twisted DNA said...

Can I borrow Colby? These pesky bugs on our patio are driving me nuts!

Tim Rice said...

Neat story though not so much for the June Beetle. ;)

Pol* said...

poor bugs, but I am impressed with Colby's hunting skills.

Crystal said...

It's nice when family pets can be usefull for something.