If you are in the market for a beetle and you find yourself on a tight budget, which should you buy — the insect or the car that bears its name? Contrary to what you might expect, the little six-legged kind has greater potential to empty your bank account.
The 2019 Volkswagen Beetle is 4,129 mm (162.6 in) in length, 1,721 mm (67.8 in) wide, 1,498 mm (59.0 in) high, and weighs in at 1,230 kg (2,712 lb). According to U.S. News and World Report, the base price for the vehicle at the time of this writing is $20,900.
While massive, compared to other insects, the stag beetle is insignificant when compared to the vehicle. A member of the Lucanidae family, males typically grow to 32.0–111.3 mm (1.26–4.38 in) including mandibles. Females come in at 36.5–54 mm (1.44–2.13 in). It is the antler-like jaws that make the insect particularly identifiable. The head of a male can be half of its entire body length. Its size and lifespan of 2 or more years, make it a collector’s item, particularly in Japan.
According to this report, in 1999 a 36-year-old Japanese businessman paid a whopping $90,000 for a 3-inch stag beetle. He chose to remain unnamed, fearing that thieves would target his prized insect. That fear is not without justification. Earlier that year thieves broke into a Tokyo beetle shop, getting away with $67,000 worth of insects.
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