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PROLOGUE – Konoha mission #34501A – Attempted Revival of Endangered Species Septempunctata saffronica

Team Leader: Aburame Shino

Team Members: N/A

Mission Objective:

Obtain one male and one female of the species Septempunctata saffronica, and successfully rear offspring for population restoration purposes. Secondary objective includes observation of mating and reproductive behaviours, and to write a report for the Konohan library archives for later reference and study.

Mission Background:

Septempunctata saffronica, also known as the Konohan yellow ladybug, is an endangered species native to some meadows and grasslands surrounding the village of Konoha. It was once a flourishing species whose unique mating rituals were observed annually, but due to the use of Kimimaro Kaguya's Sawarabi no Mai, or "Dance of the seedling fern" technique during his fight with Sabaku no Gaara, the resulting bone forest wiped out the entire meadow habitat, home to most of the species. It is believed that there are other smaller satellite populations of this species scattered throughout Fire Country. This mission is an annual attempt to restore the population.

Further Background Information:

The Konohan yellow ladybug is a tiny, round beetle. It is metallic yellow in colour, with spots on its outer pair of hardened wings, numbering from zero to seven (seven is the most common occurrence, hence its genus classification of Septempunctata). Larval stage lasts for several exoskeletal molting cycles, or instars, until an adult stage is reached. Once an adult, males and females are both at their reproductive peak, and for a short window of time in the spring, will exhibit characteristic behaviours associated with mating and reproduction. This ritual is initiated with the spraying of a pheromone-like substance from the insect's exoskeleton. This pheromone is strong in effect, causing insects of the opposite sex to initiate courtship rituals. These rituals are popularly viewed as drawn out, superfluous and unorthodox, but are required for successful mating. The intricacy of the behaviour is unknown, but it is hypothesized that once both the male and the female spray each other, they are drawn together indefinitely. These pheromones help individuals distinguish themselves from one another, and allow the organisms to be monogamous. The pheromones are so strong, that they are believed to be a potent aphrodisiac.

This information is all that you need to know to start your mission. You were selected because of your skills in this field. Good luck!

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Author's Note

Yay! Shino gets to go bug hunting! He loves that stuff, but will he get more than what he bargained for? Only time (and mainly Chapter 1) will tell!