In Sarawak, if someone invites you to come get some grub, be careful. They may be intending to serve you these lovely morsels. What you are looking at is a beetle larva that feeds exclusively on sago trees. They are about the size of your finger, though they may shrink a bit when fried up. It’s not widely eaten actually. The Melanau ethnic group are the main consumers of it, and I get the feeling it’s not a staple food for them either, but more of a delicacy. The Melanau are only a few percent of the total population here in Sarawak. They are an interesting tribe because they are pretty evenly split between muslims and christians.
If you’re wondering about the halal-ness of stir-fried sago grubs, I can only say that the muslim melanau I know all say it is halal, and quite delicious besides. I have yet to be offered any, so I can’t speak for the deliciousness. There is a giant grasshopper that is eaten in West Malaysia, and a locust of the desert that is eaten by the Arabs if I’m not mistaken, likely the same one that the Bani Israil ate while lost in the desert. So there are grounds for halal entomophagy. I think the ruling for the permissibility of an insect to be eaten has to do with the diet of the insect; maybe someone can shed more light on the subject?
On the subject of Islamically risque dining, a kind of snail is also for sale in the market. It is presumably entirely aquatic and therefore halal, but I have even less confirmation of that beyond the vigorous head-nodding assurances of the salesman, who is far from impartial.
The last item for your cautious consumption is a variety of crab very popular here. My brother-in-law from West Malaysia refused to eat it, saying that it was a dua-alam creature, that is, inhabiting water and land, rendering it haram. Some time later, I was invited to lunch by a dear friend who is a lawyer in the sharia courts here. He took me to a restaurant, run by a Chinese convert to Islam, that specializes in that very crab. The restaurant had a large full color display showing the natural history of the crab, which appeared to be entirely aquatic. My friend explained to me that the crab was in fact once widely believed to be haram by the two-environments rule, but the crab was later studied in detail and our mufti declared it to be halal. Thus, to demonstrate our obedience to the superior learning of our mufti, we forced ourselves to eat a fantastic crab-in-chili-sauce lunch. Amin, and pass the pineapple steamed rice.
[Update: A detailed explanation of the Shafi’i position on eating crab by Sidi Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti]