Beetlemania / by Michael Ryan

After my shoot with the cicadas I was looking to shoot more of Shanghai's miniature wildlife. One of my other favourite bugs are dragonflies which you can find everywhere in Shanghai's parks. While I was searching online as to how to get some, as I didn't really want to capture and kill the ones in the park myself, I found an extraordinary amount of insects available. Some that looked positively prehistoric and some fascinating looking beetles, which are also amongst my favourite bugs. 

Unicorns

So I bought a unicorn beetle (which I really think ought to be renamed a rhino beetle). It's quite large at about 8 cms long. It has a fascinating structure and as far as I can tell no eyes.

Unicorn beetle profile.

Unicorn beetle profile.

Unicorn beetle top side.

Unicorn beetle top side.

Unicorn beetle underside.

Unicorn beetle underside.

Stags

I thought these guys were dung beetles but it turns out the dung beetle is quite plain and small. These guys are known as stag beetles as they use their pincers in the same manner as stags during mating season and protecting their territory. They are only about half the size of the unicorn beetle and wide but peculiarly shallow in depth.

Stag beetle top side.

Stag beetle top side.

Stag beetle underside.

Stag beetle underside.

Stag beetle profile.

Stag beetle profile.

Scarabs

I always thought that scarabs were mythical insects having only seen them in mummy movies when I was a kid, but it turns out they are real and quite small and harmless but beautifully coloured. This one has a beautiful shiny upper shell but a fantastically metallic sheen on the underside. I also found it's face quite funny on the shot of the underside as it looks like it's wearing a traditional type of Chinese hat. Scarabs are also know as fig beetles or fig tree beetles.

Scarab top side.

Scarab top side.

Scarab underside.

Scarab underside.