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Insect fighting is a range of competitive sporting activity, commonly associated with gambling, in which insects are pitted against each other. In principle the various forms of insect fighting are members of the class of gambling that is based on blood sports such as dog fighting, cockfighting, and similar competitions. In similar competitions invertebrates other than insects may be pitted against each other, for example Arachnida, Myriapoda and Mollusca.
Forms of insect fighting as spectator sport are practised in regions of China, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. Some types have a long history; for example, cricket fighting is a traditional Chinese pastime that dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Originally an indulgence of emperors, cricket fighting later became popular among commoners. On a more casual basis, it has gained some popularity as a casual activity for youth in western countries and is known colloquially as "bugfighting".
Enthusiasts may collect and breed many different species of insects for fights. Among beetles some of the most popular are the Stag Beetle, Rhinoceros Beetle, Kabutomushi, and Goliath Beetle, for their sheer size. Among Stenopelmatidae the Jerusalem Cricket is popular because of its jumping ability and aggression. The insects are raised and trained by their owners to become as strong and aggressive as possible. Where appropriate, training involves supplemental feedings of energy-rich food such as sugar. After the training is complete, the owners will take them to the designated fighting arena and the insects fight each other.
With beetles, a small noisemaker is used that duplicates the female's mating call (fighting beetles are male). Getting beetles to fight requires patience and is very different from other types of animal blood sport. The loser is pushed onto its back by the winner, pushed off of a tree limb, or a predetermined area, or is killed.
The fight can take place on a log, stump, or circle drawn in the dirt, anywhere that is a small ring. Fights are won either by one insect pushing the other out of the ring, one of them running out of the ring (which rarely happens), or one of them being flipped over during the fight. With beetles, it is rare for one to die during a fight.