Subject: Bug Identification
Geographic location of the bug: Unknown
Time: 02:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Sir,
I have many bugs in resin, that I would like to be identified. If this is possible that would be great. The bugs vary from scorpions to beetles, from flies to crickets. I do have more bugs to identify, however only three images could be attached, if you could contact me and then I will be able to attach the other images. If more images are required please contact me. Thank you very much.
How you want your letter signed: Best Regards, George.
In most cases, we have an ethical opposition to the trade in insects preserved in lucite, but we are especially intrigued by one of your images that appears to be a Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, an invasive, exotic species that was recently accidentally introduced to Pennsylvania about five years ago, and has since become a significant concern as a threat to the agriculture industry as well as to home gardeners. We have no ethical opposition to capturing invasive species and embedding them in lucite to sell as curios to raise money to help fight the spread of this and other non-native species that become established, often threatening native species.
We have a similar reaction on a much greater scale when we see big game hunters with their trophies. We would prefer to see living beasts than to see antelope heads mounted on walls or tiger skin rugs in front of fireplaces. Collectors will spend high sums for rare species, which leads to poaching. There is a book called Winged Obsession about butterfly smuggling. Most cheap trinkets of insects embedded in lucite do not fall into the endangered species category, but our issues stem more from people who collect because of the desire to own pretty things to display rather than to collect specimens for scientific research.