Japan takes quick action to protect rare beetle

Just five months after its initial discover, Japan has already moved to protect the takaneruri kuwagata beetle (Platycerus sue Imura).

The one-centimeter-long stag beetle, first discovered last November, will be safe for at least the next three years under Japan's laws to protect endangered species. Japan's Environment Ministry will use that time to study the beetle, then determine if it needs permanent protected status.

Two takaneruri kuwagata beetles were found for sale online in January, selling for ¥110,000 (about $1,100). Under the new rules, catching and trading the beetle is now banned.

If only things moved this quickly in the United States...