Goodbye old friend... A blog post 8 months overdue

???? - 2013

Some of you may have seen my post 'Ben...', which I published almost a year ago on here. For those who don't know about 'Ben', to cut a long story short, he's a Churchyard Beetle (Blaps mucronata). 

He was given to me by my Dad's old Biology teacher, and was sent in the post in a small sandwich container with only some cucumber and a small piece of kitchen towel to his name. Chuchyard Beetles are members of the Tenebrionidae family. They are black, of about 28-30ish mm in size with  slightly pointed abdomen, are flightless, and their habitat of choice (as the name suggests) are dark, damp environments. A letter was sent along with Ben, giving me some information about him, and one of the key points made by David Nash (the biology teacher in question) was that this species wasn't going to live for a great deal of years. I received Ben in February 2003.
        Fast forward to the eve of my 20th birthday, the 8th of April 2013 and Ben was still alive (a decade later!) though wasn't acting himself. He would often 'play dead' as I like to describe it, laying on his back and not moving for a while, but after a gentle nudge with my finger or a pencil he usually came around and was back to crawling around his mini artificial desert in no time. But that night, was different. Ben had been lying, not on his back, but not moving for a few days. Much longer than he would usually play dead. I am sad to confirm that at around midnight between the 8th of April and the 9th (my birthday) 2013, Ben passed on.

Here is Ben's obituary, written by David Nash and featured in the latest issue of Suffolk Naturalists' Society magazine, White Admiral.

I would like to thank David for sending me Ben, who has seen me through half of my life, and who has given me much fascination and has been my most loyal pet. May you rest in piece my coloepterous friend.

The obituary can be found here, and the article 'Is a pet for life even if it is only a Churchyard Beetle?'' here. Unfortunately, the back issues of White Admiral are not available from 2003, and there for the first article is not accessible online. Finally, I also recommend a read of White Admiral which, particularly for those of you in and around Suffolk, provides an excellent read. http://www.sns.org.uk/pages/wad.shtml

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