For generations the Seeán Beetle, also known as the "Luck Bug", has been associated with good crops and a happy season. They are often seen as a symbol of the spring and the warm weather. They come in a variety of colors, all of them bright and attractive, especially to children who will often catch these small beetles for fun. However, farmers are also quite fond of these insects as they helps to keep the pests off their crops.
As the insect's name implies, the Seeán Beetle has a round body shaped like a
half-pea, but this part actually only includes the beetle's abdomen. In fact,
there are two other segments: the head and thorax. The head is often black
decorated with white markings and they tend to have two short horns protruding
from the front of their head. Some believe these to be short antennae. Others
think that they may be feeding appendages. Still others think that they may be
used for both sensory and eating purposes, but the truth is still unknown.
The thorax is larger than the head and is typically outlined in white with two prominent white spots on it. The back end of the Luck Bug is rounded and its color depends upon the species:
The Scarlet Seeán
One of the most common species of Seeán in mid- and Northern Santharia is the Scarlet Seeán Beetle. Its abdomen is a scarlet color when it is an adult, but more orange-scarlet when young. The spots on their back, like those of all Seeán Beetles, are black, though their size can vary greatly, as well as the number of spots on their back. They usually have either seven spots on the top of their abdomen or no spots at all.
The Golden Seeán
The Golden Seeán Beetle is most prominent in South Santharia and on the continent of Nybelmar. This lovely beetle is colored a deep gold. The shade of gold varies from South Santharia to Nybelmar, but it is typically an orangey-gold in more tropical regions, and a brownish-gold in less damp areas. When young, this species of Seeán is a light or faded yellow. The number of black spots on this bug can vary, but it usually has four to six spots.
The Green Seeán
In the western regions of Northern Santharia, the Green Seeán can often be found flittering about. As their name suggests, they are a green hue, usually a deep, emerald green, though they sometimes come in shadowy green varieties. When young, they appear as a faded chartreuse. They have black spots that vary in number, though most Green Seeán Beetles have either two or three.
The Purple Seeán
The Purple Seeán of the Southern regions of Northern Santharia is considered by some to be the most beautiful of these beetles. It is sometimes found in a rich, almost royal purple, though it is also found in darker varieties farther northward. When young, they can appear a grayish lavender. Like all Seeán Beetles, the number of spots on their back can vary, but the purple Seeán Beetle usually has three or four spots decorating its back.
The colorfully-backed abdomen of the Luck Bug appears to have a darker line down its center, but this is actually a split. What some believe to be the “wings” of the Seeán bug is actually a brightly enameled protective wing-cover that hides the single pair of wings below them. These wings are small, leaf-shaped, and typically of a transparent brown color. The underside of all varieties of Seeán Beetles is black. Three pairs of black legs connected to the thorax region.
The Seeán Beetle's most remarkable ability, apart from its endearing appearance,
is its voracious appetite for the pests that ruin crops.
Territory. Each kind of Seeán Beetle is found in a different location (refer the descriptions of each species of Seeán Beetle in the Appearance section). These colorfully beetles can be found in most any terrain, though they are most common in grassy plains and unharvested fields where they feed on other bugs. Farmers will sometimes bid their children to go out and catch these colorful little insects in the wild so that they can be distributed over a crop as these bugs kill many harmful insects that feed on crops. They are more rarely found in forests, but will sometimes prosper in such habitats if there are many grasses growing within the trees where other insects may live.
Habitat/Behaviour. These round little beetles are not at all shy and are not aggressive to even larger creatures. For this reason, and because of their bright, alluring colors, many children enjoy collecting them and playing with them. In some cities and towns in mid and southern Santharia, a day will be chosen in the middle of spring where children will have competitions to see who can collect the most Luck Bugs. Seeán Bugs are easy to see during the spring and summer, and can sometimes be picked off easily by predators. However, because they lay hundreds of eggs each season, there is rarely ever a shortage of them.
During late summer and autumn, the Luck Bugs become a nuisance to many as they invade households and attics trying to find a warm, safe place to hide out for the winter. They go into a sort of hibernation, often huddled up together in small congregations. These colorful clots of insects can block small windows, ventilation apertures, and stovepipes and chimneys.
Luck Bugs are fairly friendly towards one another and are not at all territorial. If two Seeán Beetles happen to run across each other in their search for tasty insects, they will usually pass each other by without complaint. In the spring and summer, if these Luck Bugs are of differing gender, they will mate in passing - see Mating below. These Seeán Beetles, while being non-aggressive for the most part, do not travel in herds or groups and live independently of one another, except during their winter estivation.
Diet. Luck Bugs were once thought to eat merely grass, given that they were always found living on it. However, it is said that during a time when crops were plagued by pests and bugs were causing towns to crumble into starvation, a human farmer by the name of Adeli Cropper witnessed a Luck Bug eating one of the many pests that had nearly ruined his crop while sitting on his porch. He quickly bid his young son and daughter to go out and catch as many of these insects as they could from the nearby grasslands, and when they returned, he let them loose over his crop. When his situation got noticeably better, other farmers did the same. Word was spread that the Seeán Beetle was an eater of crop pests that killed crops as, opposed to grasses and plants and that bit of knowledge helped the starvation plight.
Mating. From early spring to mid summer these brightly colored insects mate. Mating is a rather relaxed and casual event. When a male and female come across each other, the male will board the female's back and they will mate. Sometimes the two may stay connected for only minutes, but sometimes they can stay connected for hours. After the mating is done, the two will part. A week or so later, the female Luck Bug will lay a nest of 50 and 100 eggs in a leafy sheltered plant, protecting the miniture greyish dots with a covering of bitter-smelling foam.
Within two or three weeks, these eggs will hatch into tiny little Seeán Bugs that, except for their lighter coloration, are miniatures of their parents. They are ready to fly at birth, though often it takes a few tries to get it right, and will be able to function independently almost at once.
It is believed that these little Luck Bugs will be able to mate within one to two months, but usually the autumn comes before they are able to do so and they must wait until the following year to reproduce. Luck Bugs can live as long as five years, but most live two or three years.
Usages. The Luck Bug is a farmer’s best protection against pests that can kill crops. Farm children will often collect these bugs for their mother or father, and sometimes local merchants will hold competitions for children in order to collect these bugs from the while so that they can later sell them in their stores. Usually when crops are dying or having trouble, it is because there aren’t as many Luck Bugs flitting around to ward off all the harmful insects that can ruin crops.
Myth/Lore. The Luck Bug is most often associated with Jeyriall, the Goddess of Life and the Harvest. It is believed to some that, through this colorful insect, Jeyriall blesses a crop and determines how prosperous the harvest will be that year.
Children often collect the Seeán Beetle and play a number of games with it: counting the spots on its back to tell how many children they will have when they grow to adulthood and marry, racing them along grooves scraped in the dirt, fastening them to threads on their shirt like living brooches, or chanting rhymes to encourage crop growth.
Southern Santharian children sing a rather gruesome little ditty that goes as follows: "Luck Bug, Luck Bug / tragga tilla magga mug / Come eat ornmeat / come drink miteblood!"
Researchers. Adeli Cropper (exact life dates unknown) is believed to have lived within the Age of Awakening, and is considered by some to be more of an observationalist than an actually researcher. However, it is commonly acknowledged that he was the first to discover the true diet of the Luck Bug, which helped to coin its name. More information on this can be found in the Diet section.
Another human researcher was one known as William Andelin (1242-1303) who lived as a farmer and agriculturalist until he became fascinated with these little insects and traveled around, observing and researching the Golden, Scarlet, and Green Seeáns. He is remembered mostly for discovering more about the diet of the Seeán Beetle and detailing their mating habits.
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus