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He Puts No Stock in the Bug Market

October 14, 1990

Cathy Endfield, the "Rent-a-Bug-Lady" (Sept. 30) says insects are lacking in pain receptors and have no emotional life. Unfortunately, the real issue involves the worldwide disappearance of wildlife.

Pet shops have long drained remote places of tropical fish, reptiles and birds. Now insect dealers and shell shops are trading in more exotic organisms. Poaching, habitat loss and human encroachment have made even isolated species vulnerable.

Beetles, butterflies, ants, wasps, scorpions and grasshoppers serve a purpose in nature. Insects pollinate flowers and fruit, and are essential to the food chain. Beetles are an important part in the breakdown of leaves, twigs and rotting wood.

By creating a market for the world's largest or most beautiful moths, spiders and beetles, as well as the ugly or unattractive forms, these dead-bug dealers continue the attack on the now-fragile ecosystem. None of these mounted specimens will ever reproduce.

This siphoning off of rare and unusual species must stop, or we may be witness to the end of nature.

RICK SEED

San Diego

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