ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
NAME: Tom Shohara
HOME: Los Angeles, CA
MARITAL STATUS: Married, 1 child
HOBBIES: Insect collecting; hiking; photography; traveling
OTHER INTERESTS: Keeping frogs, toads, lizards; watching nature shows and NASCAR Winston Cup races on TV; playing guitar;
listening to music ("smooth jazz," oldies, R&B, rock and pop)
COMPUTER / ISP: Dell/America Online
Insects have fascinated me ever since I can remember, but it wasn't until I was about 10 years of age that I started keeping
them as pets. A bit later I began a collection, going into empty lots, fields and woods to look for different insects. I was
lucky to have parents willing to buy me all the collecting gear I wanted--a net, a glass-topped insect case, pins, spreading
boards, insect books. I convinced them that I was going to be an entomologist when I grew up and all this equipment was necessary
in order to achieve my life's goal!
I did not become an entomologist (I currently work for the Federal Government) but my interest in insects has stayed with
me. I used to feel a bit embarrassed about telling people that my vacations are spent collecting bugs (because that's something
kids do, not adults), but as I get older, I find that I don't care what they think!
I like almost all insects (the exceptions are the ones that bite or suck blood, such as fleas, mosquitoes, horseflies) but
I'm especially fond of rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles. Many of the larger species have spectacular horn and mandible
development that are, for lack of a better term, "cool!" My home state of California reportedly has more species of insects
than any other state but, unfortunately, only one rhinoceros beetle (and it's a small one, with a little horn) and several
very small stag beetles. Thus, all my serious collecting trips are out of state, usually in the South.
Rearing rhinoceros and stag beetles is something I really enjoy; it's almost as good as the hunt! Getting eggs from the adults
I collect, waiting for them to hatch, watching the larvae progress from tiny things to full-size, then pupation and finally
emerging as adult beetles gives me something to look foward to each day as well as a great deal of satisfaction and a sense
No Longer Alone:
I've discovered in recent years, after I bought a computer and got connected to the worldwide web, that there are a lot of
people rearing beetles. That was a revelation, because I had thought that I was the only one doing it, that I was unique!
But the internet is a great resource for information on different rearing methods and techniques, as well as finding people
with interests similar to yours who are willing to share their knowledge--and maybe trade specimens with you!
Why I Created This Page
A few years ago, my wife bought me a digital camera for Christmas (a Canon A50) so I could put pictures into the computer
and send them to people. I now have enough photos of insects (and other animals) to make a home page and share them with other