Barrowbug

Leonard Fitzmurdle’s personal log

January 6, 2113

Of course, the barrowbug is known for the frantic activity it displays when exposed to wind, movement, and other external forces. The moment these insects are uncovered to the outside world, they run around in crazy circles, often shoveling one or more of their equally frenzied brothers onto their backs in their haste.

However, Briswald and I have learned that if you are able to mimic the calm enclosed environment of their mounds, you can watch the beetles in a much more passive attitude. I have thus spent a delightful day locked in one of the larger shipping containers with a jar of these creatures, sketching them as they gently graze.

Briswald was running experiments on the rest of the barrowbug collection, but has been unusually quiet all day; I look forward to comparing notes this evening.

 
 

Octavio Briswald’s field notes

January 6, 2113

What a thoroughly absorbing and agreeable afternoon! I discovered early on that when you crush one of the beetles, the pulpy residue contains powerful chemical signals that the insects refuse to cross, even at the height of their hysterical activity. Thus, you can draw elaborate shapes on the floor, and by tipping a jarful of bugs into the center, create living works of art as the bugs scramble wildly within the invisible confines of the pheromones.

As a demonstration of this, I have written the word “Fitzmurdle” across the floor in a shimmering swarm of berserk beetles. I know he will be touched by the playful homage; and I am sure the smell will come out of the carpet soon enough.

 

 


Other mentions: A successful Bajoran raid on a Cardassian base was compared to "kicking over a mound of barrowbugs" (DS9)