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Bug Catching

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"It's a common bluebottle! I'll put it in a rare green jar!"
A pastime for kids (ages 5-10) to do during the summer. It's kind of like fishing to see who catches the most and release at the end of the day. If the kid doesn't release the bug, it may lead to And Call Him "George". Bug-catching nets are a must.

This hobby is mostly a boys' and Tomboy thing since Boys Like Creepy Critters, although there are a few surprises. Extremely popular in Japan.

See also Beetle Maniac and Friend to Bugs.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A few Crayon Shin-chan strips shows the titular character and his friends — usually Masao, a nature lover, and Buu, who's just there to tag-along — leisurely catching bugs and competing with other kids from their school. Most of the times Shin would dress himself up as insects (usually stag beetles or rhino beetles) to "fool their prey", and in one episode Shin and friends ends up competing in a bug-catching contest with a third-grade girl from another school who inevitably gets caught in Shin's usual antics.
  • Yotsuba&!'s cicada hunt has appeared in a few chapters; she released them inside the house.
  • In Gintama, an early story arc has the Yorozuya gang go on a beetle hunt, partly to try making some money, and partly so Kagura can get her revenge on Okita by finding a beetle that can beat his in a fight. It ends up turning into Serious Business due to the Shinsengumi showing up in search of the shogun's prized golden stag beetle.
  • Naruto shows that Shino has this as a hobby.
  • One story of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service has the gang try this as yet another attempt at getting out of their Perpetual Poverty (stag beetles apparently sell for a lot of money). Predictably, it leads to yet another corpse (with its eyes pecked out and apparently having fallen from a tree). The culprit this time was a parasite that normally affects snails, causing their antennae to bulge out and climb high to attract passing birds so the parasite can reproduce).
  • My Monster Secret had a chapter where Youko, Rin, and Karen decide to go out and catch rhinoceros beetles, but unfortunately they're all ditzes and end up falling asleep too early two nights in a row while Asahi stays awake the entire time. From there it goes off completely into the series' usual off-the-wall comedy and ended with an exhausted Asahi falling asleep in a Stock Shout-Out to Tomorrow's Joe.
  • Like in the games, Nate from Yo-Kai Watch is fond of doing this with his friends Eddie, Bear, and Katie.
  • Kanna is seen hunting for bugs as part of her summer homework in episode 7 of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. Being Kanna, she just eats them whole and writes down what they tasted like rather than collect them with the net she's carrying.
  • In Chapter 7 of I Want Your Mother To Be With Me!, Ryo goes with Yuzuki and her son Asahi to catch bugs, and end up catching a large beetle that Asahi keeps as a pet.
  • Occasionally referenced in One Piece, particularly in the Jaya Arc, where Luffy likens catching a Hercules beetle to finding One Piece itself. At the arc's very end, he succeeds in catching one, and gifts it to the Saruyama Alliance as thanks for preparing the crew for Skypiea.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes often go out looking for bugs or "anything weird."
  • The Far Side frequently features lepidopterists chasing butterflies, including one strip featuring a horde of them chasing a single Godzilla-sized butterfly.
  • FoxTrot: Jason and Marcus often do this, so as to have a ready supply of critters with which to annoy Paige.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Classic, during their time together at the river, Joon-ha catches one of the fireflies as a gift for Joo-hee. This is repeated in the ending, as Ji-hye sits in the same position on the bridge over the river that her mother did when Sang-min catches a firefly for her.
  • In Lucas starring Corey Haim, the title boy spends his summers out in the woods, catching bugs, tadpoles, frogs, crawfish, and other creepy crawlies, just for the fun of it.
  • Looks like one of the only hobbies Shilo from Repo! The Genetic Opera has while imprisoned in her room.
  • The Professor in Way Down East spends most of his time chasing butterflies with a large net, a frequent source a physical comedy.
  • Tomer from Mabul is obsessed with bugs. He spends most of his time catching them. Miri buys him containers so he can store them. Some of them escape one night, and when Yoni wakes up, he's horrified to find his mattress infested with bugs.

  • In It, one of the summer pastimes undertaken by the children is catching insects, frogs, and other creepy crawlies in the Barrens.
  • In the Dr. Seuss book Summer, one of the joys of summer for kids is catching fireflies in jars.
  • In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom and his friends regularly catch frogs and snakes just for the fun of it.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, competitive cicada catching is one of the activities Haruhi insists that the SOS Brigade do during the "Endless Eight" arc. Though, as Kyon points out, they're in high school and thus are too old to still be doing it.

    Live-Action TV 


    Video Games 
  • The Bug Catcher trainer class in Pokémon is explicitly based off this trope, and naturally specialize in using Bug-type Pokémon. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and their remakes also feature Bug Maniacs, who are older than the child-aged Bug Catchers and use higher-level and stronger Bug Pokémon. The creator of Pokémon, Satoshi Tajiri, was an avid bug catcher himself when he was a kid and based the series around his childhood hobby of collecting wild beetles and having them fight against other kids' beetles.
  • You'll spend a lot of time doing this in the various incarnations of Animal Crossing, especially in summer. The games contain a large amount of insects to catch. You can sell them for money, give them to villagers as presents, donate them to the local museum, or decorate your house in them. Starting with Wild World, villagers will sometimes race you to see who can find a specific bug the fastest.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The player does this every once in a while in Monster Hunter. The bugs come in handy for making various types of items, from medicines and fish bait to electric monster traps.
  • In The Sims 2, Sims can catch bugs. They even get a collection box with pictures of the species they've caught. Sims can also catch bugs and put them on display in The Sims 3.
  • Harvest Moon: A New Beginning has bug catching, and you can actually make a good amount of money depending on what you catch. You can also use the different types of bees you catch to cultivate honey back on the farm.
  • In Puyo Puyo, Sig is absolutely fascinated by bugs to the point of considering them Serious Business, and he is often seen wanting to catch some. His scenario in 20th Anniversary is about Amitie trying to help him find a solution when he realizes he can't catch bugs with his demon claw.
  • Bug catching appears a lot in Yo-Kai Watch. At the start of the first game, the protagonist and their friends are looking for bugs when they come across Whisper. A lot of NPCs also mention bug catching. The game feature mini-games where you can catch bugs and fish.
  • The first page of a storybook at the very beginning of Cuphead shows the young protagonist brothers Cuphead and Mugman catching some bugs with the Elder Kettle in the forest (as Cuphead indicates by holding a bug-catching net).
  • One of the main goals in Elroy Goes Bugzerk is to catch a rare beetle.
  • The Boku no Natsuyasumi series, although primarily 1970s summer vacation simulators, features bug catching as one of its main characteristics: a few of them, mostly beetles, can be pitted in sumo matches on a makeshift dohyō ring (usually a tambourine).
  • Game Boy's Konchuu Hakase series was probably one of the first video games exclusively dedicated to the hobby. They shifted genre from overhead games a la Pokemon to action-adventure titles. There are also many other bug-catching themed games, such as Game Boy Color's Get Mushi Club, Playstation's Mushi Taro, Game Boy Advance's breeding sim Minna no Shiiku series (Kabuto and Kuwagata) and Konchuu no Mori no Daibouken, Playstation 2's Simple 2000 Series Vol. 83: The Konchuu Saishuu or Simple DS Vol. 3: The Mushitori Oukoku
  • Game Boy Advance's GET! Boku no Mushi Tsukamaete is an mystery / adventure game with an important bug-catching feature.
  • Nintendo DS' Mushi: Machi no Konchuu Monogatari is both a Card Battle Game and a bug-catching game.
  • Simple DS Series Vol. 16: The Sagasou: Fushigi na Konchuu no Mori had the strange concept of catching bugs after battling with them with the protagonists having their same size.
  • Playstation's Battle Konchuuden and Nintendo DS game Drone Tactics (Konchuu Wars) mixed this trope's theme with Super Robot Wars-styled Turn-Based Strategy games - especially the latter with Animal Mecha.
  • In the remake of Persona 4, the player can get a bug-catching net partway into the story, incidentally after learning one of the children at the local shrine lost theirs. Said child, after retrieving it for him, will actively point to one of the trees as a gathering spot for bugs, which need to be caught with good timing. Said bugs can be used for fishing.
  • Employed in Boku no Natsuyasumi as one of the game's optional side activities. It is one of the areas where the developers have really Shown Their Work, as the game progresses over the month of August, the summer bugs that Boku can catch gradually die out and give way to autumn bugs in accordance with how it would roughly happen in real life.

    Western Animation 
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob and Patrick go jellyfishing all the time.
  • Craig of the Creek:
    • In "The Brood", Craig's grandfather collects the molted skins of seventeen-year cicadas. When Craig breaks one, he makes it his mission to get a new one.
    • In "Summer Wish", the Creek Kids collect fireflies on the first night of summer so they can make a wish, then release them so it comes true. Craig can't decide on his wish and keeps his firefly until he can think of what to wish for; when it rains for several days afterwards, he comes to believe it's his fault for not releasing the firefly.

    Real Life 
  • The naturalist Gerard Durell's autobiography, My Family and Other Animals, details the author's childhood (and continuing) obsession with nature, and the many different species he collected as a child.
  • During The Second Boer War, one of Robert Baden-Powell's favourite cover stories when he was spying was as a butterfly collector. Not only did seeing this grown man chasing butterflies seem so innocent to the Boers that they didn't realize that he only seemed to find ones around their fortifications interesting, but he could disguise his maps in the pictures of the ones he caught.
  • Charles Darwin was an avid insect collector. In one famous incident, he was coming home from an afternoon of collecting when he happened across a bombardier beetle. As his pockets were full, he attempted to carry it in his mouth, only to get a firsthand experience with its defensive abilities. He gleefully recounted the tale in his diary.


Video Example(s):


Kanna Goes Bug Catching

Kanna decides to gather bugs for her summer homework, but it doesn't go the way you'd expect.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / BugCatching

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