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Beetle Necklaces

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I went to an Asian market yesterday. I've heard about these markets in different cities for a very long time and went in hopes of finding Giant Water Bugs sold as food (my sister saw them about five years ago in a frozen pack at an Asian market in Arizona) or finding live land snails for food (Helix sp., my friend R. Willis found them at an Asian market in New York a while back). Unfortunately I didn't find any neat dead or live insects or snails but I did get to see some type of live giant cecelians along with live softshell turtles, frogs, tilapia, blue crabs, dungeness crabs and marine snails. There was a vast variety of dried marine shrimps and shellfish, some strange small frozen crabs and an amazing variety of frozen and dried fish. Probably the neatest thing I saw was a fat, round, orange squid about the size of a football near the baked duck. The only insects I ran across were in a small jewelry stand inside plastic necklaces, I've seen these necklaces before with African beetles inside but these were Asian beetles (notice the Dicranocephalus males on left and third from the right). The central stag may be Odontolabis and the stag on the right Prosopocoilus. The two that are really hard to make out are cicadas, not beetles. I was hoping to get many pics of the food but was told no photos after taking the barely in focus jewelry pic.


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If you're interested in dried insect foods, I'd recommend you contact David Gracer of Sunrise Land Shrimp. He sent me a grab bag of baked giant water bugs, crickets, grasshoppers and cicadas. They weren't as tasty as I'd like for them to have been, but I did get 4 of my 5 family members to try them. They all made wonderfully entertaining faces and even tried them another time, just to gross out some of their friends.


There's a link to Sunrise Land Shrimp off the wiki site:




So, were you actually going to eat them if they were available or resell them at a higher price ;)


We have tons of Asian markets in my area and I'd never thought to check for interesting bugs. We have an Asian "mall" in SE Portland. I ate at our areas only Malaysian restaurant, there, recently. I had a durian shake, which apparently induces vomitting in most Westerners (the smell alone nearly gagged my wife through most of dinner). I actually managed to like it, but I have a taste for the strangest available foods. I had some sort of squid stir fry entree. Pretty tasty, though not as good as the pepper and salt fried squid at local Vietnamese restaurants. By the end of the meal the durian shake had lost its luster and I wasn't quite able to finish it. I think it has warmed up, considerably, and that, along with a belly full of squid, made it less appetizing.


The beetles in the photo look like the pretty standard offering by Indonesian wholesalers. I see them in a lot of keychains too.



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