Amamanggi, वर्मपंखी गण, Beetles, Beetles are Best, Biller, Brouci, Coleoptera, 甲虫類, De dode kever die toch levend bleek te zijn, Die-hard Beetle, Тврдокрилци, Твърдокрили, 딱정벌레목, 鞘翅目, Hoe kun je checken of een kever dood is?, How can one tell a beetle is dead?, How can you tell a beetle is dead?, How to save a beetle from drowning?, How to tell a beetle is dead?, Κολεόπτερα, Käfer, Kevers (Coleoptera), Koleopteroj, Kın kanatlılar, L'escarabacho d'a cheta, Maggiolino, May Bugs, May-bugs (Melolontha melolontha), Meikever, Meikevers, Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines), Sərtqanadlılar, The beetle who wasn't dead after all, قاببالان, Wanneer is een kever dood?, When is a beetle readlly dead?, חיפושיות, خنفساء
I found a Carabidae beetle in a bucket with water and regretted its death by drowning. I showed it to my daughter and husband, because it was beautiful purplish. After that, I put it next to my drawing pad, for making a sketch of it.
It lay there for at least an hour and I hoped so much it would give a sign of life. Then I did the most crazy thing imaginable; I turned it on its back, squeezed it gently, and gave it heart massage (don’t ask). Three drops of water came out. I have no clue why I did such a weird thing. Would somebody tell me he or she had given cardiac massage to a beetle, I would have laughed out loud.
I drank tea and continued drawing. When I was about to start sketching the beetle, I was surprised it had lost its rigor mortis. I arranged my pencils and got distracted by household duties.
About two hours later, I positioned the dead beetle in such way that I could make a sketch, as if it looked alive. Did I see its antennae moving? Surely not, that must have been wishful seeing. ‘Mum, it isn’t dead’, my daughter said. I asked her how could she tell? (How can you tell a beetle is dead?) Her answer was: ‘Because you keep fussing over it’.
Some time after that, to my surprise the beetle started to give very subtle signs of life. That was about 4 to 5 hours after I found it floating in a cold bucket with water. I was delighted. I phoned my brother who knows more about nature than I do. He offered a simple explanation: ‘Your beetle must have suffered hypothermia by laying a whole night in cold water’. But what about my crazy heart massage and noticing these drops of water coming out of it? ‘No clue’, replied my brother, ‘It might have helped. We know very little about bugs and beetles apart from that they are real survivors’.
It took me another two days of caring for the beetle till it had enough strength to crawl away over our terrace.
The morale of this story? If you, a beetle-fan, find a beetle and you think it is drowned or dead, allow it time. If it had a swim, squeeze it gently to get the water out and keep it in a place with normal temperature. There is a chance it will start walking over your desk or drawing pad. Trust me, you’ll notice that one rescued beetle can make you hugely happy.
Paula Kuitenbrouwer sells exquisite fine art cards of her drawings as well as reproductions, and of some drawing regular postcards or smaller business-, gift- or mummy-cards. See Purchase in the header for what is available as well as the price list. In case you like to commission Paula, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org