Entomology (Study of Bugs)/bugs as pets


Hi Ed,

m a writer for the online publication Atlas Obscura, and I'm looking into when bugs are kept as pets. I'm curious as to why some people might choose to keep bugs as pets, what people should know before they do, and if you think that certain bugs might make better pets than others.

Would you be available for a brief conversation on the topic this week? Or email exchange, if that is more convenient.

Tao Tao

(This is a global or national scope)

Dear Tao Tao - I'm afraid that I do not have enough expertise on this particular subject to be of much assistance on your project. I think it would be better if you could contact someone in Japan, where keeping insects as pets is far more popular than here - see https://www.tofugu.com/japan/pet-beetles-in-japan/


p.s. - I find Atlas Obscura a fascinating site to visit!

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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