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May bugs

Discussion in 'Personal' started by sodalime, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. sodalime

    sodalime Lead commenter

    Also known as Cockchafers.
    I know, kinda funny sounding, but as a thread title, Cockchafers was unlikely to beat the swear filter.
    I had never come across one of these insects before, but yesterday one had stumbled through my bathroom window. They're big and distinctively insecty.
    Websites say they are common down south (England), is this true?

  2. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    Yes. There are certain days in the summer when they are everywhere.
    sodalime likes this.
  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    We get them regularly. Periodically there is a peak in numbers of the larvae, which live underground for several years, and we lose part of the lawn to their munching.
    sodalime likes this.
  4. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Yes, they used to come down our chimney on hot, summer evenings in our old house, and I'd spend a panicked half-hour trying to get them out of the house. Thankfully they don't bother us in this house!
    sodalime likes this.
  5. sodalime

    sodalime Lead commenter

    Oh, that's very interesting. I noticed the other night that in the space of 24hrs a tiny patch of lawn (in my garden) had been disturbed and instead of grass/moss there was soil. I wonder now if it was down to this insect. It was too small an area to have been caused by a mammal and the mices stick to the undergrowth.
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    There are millions of painted Lady butterflies on the way apparently - hope a few of them turn up in my garden.
  7. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Thanks for the heads up, guard now attached to prevent chafing.
    mothorchid and sodalime like this.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You ready for this?
    Dig around and find some of the grubs.
    Put them in a small box with air holes and a small piece of turf. Leave somewhere cool for a week; make sure it doesn't dry out.
    Separate grubs from the grass and any grit they have purged.
    Fry in very hot oil for about two minutes.
    Douse in salt and vinegar.
    Take photographs of yourself posing with the cooked grubs on a fork, next to a distressed flagon of nettle wine.
    Have photos published in a small cookbook, making sure you give yourself a pseudonym with a double barreled surname.
    As sales rocket, enjoy the fried grubs with the wine and a small circle of Bohemian guests. If desired, substitute with Pringles, Hoegaarden and some nackered workmates.

    Edit-having just seen @Mangleworzle 's post after submitting mine, I should add that the digging around described at the start of this post happens in the garden.
    Duke of York and sodalime like this.
  9. Spiritwalkerness

    Spiritwalkerness Star commenter

    Destructive little fekkers. They've been infested by the rotters at a place I pat ponies. The paddocks look like this now

    Took about two days to go from lush and green to something like this!
  10. sodalime

    sodalime Lead commenter

    Jeeso!! They're a massive problem, then.:(

    I'm now wondering if I may have got my insect identification wrong: the one I found in the bathroom definitely had a pointy bum, it was about 1.2 inches long, was clumsy, but its wings (when closed) did not cover the full length of its body . . . all the photos online i have seen have shown the cockshafer's closed wings covering its body . . .also, the lower end of its body, towards the tail, had reddish stripes . . .is this correct for a cockshafer?
    cissy3 likes this.
  11. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    I know about Cockchafers. They are a real problem if your pants are tight and you don't wear undies.
  12. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    The one I've seen looked like a cockroach - fairly round and huge! It was on a child's shoulder at school and I've never seen so many parents disappear so quickly, leaving me to catch it without freaking out the poor child.

    My son played a cello piece called 'Captain Cockchafer' in a concert. Some boring people tried to get me to call it something else on the programme. But I didn't!
  13. sodalime

    sodalime Lead commenter

    Nice one! :)


    agathamorse, cissy3 and Mangleworzle like this.
  14. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    I don't think so; I think you are probably right that it is a cockchafer.
    They used to bumble into my bedroom light when I was a kid, and often their wings looked sort of 'unkempt' and not neatly together.

    I found this description:

    'They have a segment called the pygidium at the end of their abdomen, which is long and pointed,' Hine said. 'It looks vicious but is actually a tool for females to lay eggs into the ground.'
    Cockchafers have whitish triangles on their sides, hairy bodies, reddish-brown wing cases that meet in the middle and orange fan-like antennae.



    Me too.

    Is anyone else going to do the big butterfly count?
    Only takes 15 mins on a sunny day. My worry is that I won't see any butterflies or moths at all. I worry about the decline of so many species.

    sodalime likes this.
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Winding down from the weekend, I fancied some entomology etymology, and unearthed this-


    "...How did the Cockchafer beetle get its name? The name "Cockchafer" is Old English for "big beetle" while "Kafer" is German for "beetle". The beetle belongs to the Scarab beetle family Scarabaeidae..."

    Read it carefully. Because what puzzles me is that since the "chafer" bit clearly comes from the German for "Beetle", you then have to infer that the old English word for "big" was "cØck".

  16. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    In some areas and times, cockchafers were served as food. A 19th-century recipe from France for cockchafer soup reads: "roast one pound of cockchafers without wings and legs in sizzling butter, then cook them in a chicken soup, add some veal liver and serve with chives on a toast". A German newspaper from Fulda from the 1920s tells of students eating sugar-coated cockchafers. Cockchafer larvae can also be fried or cooked over open flames, although they require some preparation by soaking in vinegar in order to purge them of soil in their digestive tracts. A cockchafer stew is referred to in W. G. Sebald's novel The Emigrants.
    agathamorse and sodalime like this.
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Indeed. Expressing size or vigour.
    les25paul, agathamorse and sodalime like this.
  18. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Senior commenter

    Really? Gulp. As someone bordering on phobic of these fluttering INSECTS OF TERROR this has me quite panicked and twitchy. (Shudder)
    sodalime likes this.
  19. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Senior commenter

    30 mph????? They fly at 30mph?????????????????? Thanks Google.
    sodalime likes this.
  20. sodalime

    sodalime Lead commenter

    I'd make a useless witness - i now wish I had had the presence of mind to photograph the insect when I had the chance.
    This summer, more than previous summers, I've noticed a wider variety of butterflies and day moths. They've appeared earlier in the season too. This has surprised me as it's widely documented that so many insect species are becoming instinct.

    Eating insects and insect larvae is going to be making a comeback.
    cissy3 and nomad like this.

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