When Martin French needs to unwind from his accounting job he heads for a rather dank place where the creepiest cold-blooded characters hang out: his shed. Surrounded by thousands of insects including giant centipedes, skittering cockroaches, scorpions, endangered mantis and, yes, king sized tarantulas, Martin is engrossed.
Bug collecting, trading and selling is a serious business and many of his insects are pricey and rare…moon moths, jungle nymphs and rare mantis species like idolomantis diabolicum (below) and orchid mantis.
This all started when I asked Martin what his passion was, says his wife, Lorraine. “What’s your passion, Martin? Forget about everything. What would make you really want to get up in the morning.” It took days for Martin to mull the question over and finally he answered.
“Insects. I want to work with insects.” A passionate interest in bugs since childhood had never left him and he wanted to make a go of it: studying, collecting, raising and selling them.
His wife had not shared that interest but passion is contagious and now Lorraine admits that the world of insects can be compellingly, fascinatingly bizarre.