Cletus gets his own mailbag.

In a world where people watch TV all night to find out who's driving the nicest cars in Hollywood, or which "star romance" is on the rocks, even a dead bug seems pretty interesting. Please write with your comments on Cletus the bug, or any bug stories you may have. Thank you for participating.

"Laurel" provides us with this scholastic clue-

Your loving description of Cletus prompted me to look him up in my handy "Peterson Field Guide to Insects." To the best of my knowledge, Cletus was--and I regret to have to say this--a stink bug.

But let me explain: Identified by his "broadly oval and somewhat shield-shaped Scutellum" (that triangular body plate on his back) and his exemplary coloring ("Some stink bugs are rather plain-colored, brownish or grayish, but many are brightly colored."), Cletus appears to have been an attractive specimen of the Family Pentatomidea, Superfamily Scutelleroidea (characterized by 5-segmented antennae and a "somewhat shield shape [with a broad-shouldered appearance]") within the Order Hemiptera (only Hemiptera are true bugs. No other insects are actually bugs, taxanomically speaking).

The guide goes on to tell us that "the common name refers to the rather disagreeable odor these bugs produce." The fact that you didn't have occasion to note an unpleasant air about Cletus speaks extremely well of his status as a roommate. If only all roommates were that considerate.

yours, entomologically speaking,


[Thanks, Laurel! Please send me your email address, so I can thank you in person.]

"Carrie" relays this touching bug story, which helps me fell like I'm not entirely insane for having a pet bug-

Pet bugs? Well, yes, as a matter of fact...
When I was in elementary school in LA, I had a pet leafhopper. He was named Lee, after an ugly neighborhood punk (don't ask me why). He lived for A YEAR. Seriously. I kept him in a big plastic jar with holes poked in the top and gave him fresh leaves every few days. He grew pretty darn big, too. A little larger than your typical spider, and he had long spindly legs. He used to hang out on my fingers.
During one of the major early-morning earthquakes of the '80s, the first thing I did was to grab his jar and tote him to safety. I was pretty attached to that little thing.
But alas, the clean-living guy's colors eventually started to fade, and one day he too went the way of Cletus. I was sad. I don't remember much after that.

Alas, the tragedy of out-living one's children seeps over into the pet world. One of the drawbacks of pet-bug ownership.

'Sarah" gives us more info on Cletus' shadowy background-
Cletus is a stink bug. You can see a pic of one of cletus' relatives here.

Carrie (of leafhopper fame, above) checks back in-

Hey, I got another insect-friend! This time it's a Madagascar hissing cockroach...he's about 3 inches long and is currently crawling around on my arm, leaving little spots of cockroach tinkle (aka water). They say that you can hear him hiss 12 feet away. He's very cool, you need one!

 Not to be outdone by Cletus the stink-bug, my attorney sends an endearing photo of 'Jesus', the Jerusalem-cricket who lives in the workshop...

Even someone with limited Jerusalem-cricket experience can clearly see- Jesus is one foxy bug. AND, this particular Jesus has engendered no global policies of hatred or oppression (so far).

[NOTE- in an interesting footnote, Jesus the Jerusalem Cricket was found dead Easter morning 2000. So far, no resurrection has been observed.]

 from Martti Tolvanen in Finland comes another clue- or is it a NATO-sponsored disinformation campaign? Decide for yourself. The true identity of Cletus must be known.

You can count me as a fan of your "Cletus the Bug" pages.I prefer this kind of web content much to lists like "The CDs I have".

What actually made me write you is that I've identified
at least the order of Cletus, it's Heteroptera (bugs,
as you may have guessed :) My handbook on Northern European insects doesn't have the exact species, unfortunately, and my guess on the family Acanthosomidae may go wrong because the real family of Cletus may be missing... Anyway the number of ankle segments (2) and antenna segments (4) that is well seen in your photos (good work!) fits this family, same as the general body shape.

If you get the correct species identified some day,please update your page.


"Christian House" pipes up to gloat-
Well, I have a pet bug...It is a scorpion...I have no pics.
..but Rage is my pet and I love him..
Rage watches Tv and suntans with me and sometimes he even
listens to the radio with me..
I like to think he even sings..
anyway that is all I have to say..

"Ashley" materializes with this freaky, disturbing message-

Last night I encountered a Jerusalem cricket (Child of the Earth). It was about an inch long which was too big for my liking. Well my aunt stepped on it and we watched it wiggle aroud a little more. After awhile it started excreting a long something. We thought it was mutating! The something turned out to be about 6 inches long(coiled up). We wanted to know what it excreted. I'd also like to apologize for the death of this bug because we didn't know much about it until today when I began researching it. So please let me know what came out of it if you know! Thanks! Ashley

Please take your medications, Ashley. I'm worried for you.

abigail shares her bug tale-

[yes, I KNOW centipedes aren't bugs. This is a website, not a science class.]

i was so impressed with your cletus site. it reminds me a great deal of the Ballad of DJ Grossyface. in undergrad, my two roommates and i were all college radio superstars, and so when we found a house centipede and named him something no one can remember now, he also had to have a DJ name: DJ Grossyface. according to my roommate's father, a professor of entomology, DJ Grossyface was also DJ Incredibly Venomous, so we decided that he needed to live, briefly, without air, in a mayo jar.
The plan, obviously, was that he was supposed to
die, but instead, with apparently no food nor air, he continued to live happily. Until my other roommate gave him a Thanksgiving crust of bread, and he *molded.* Terribly ironic.

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