The Bikōchū Search Mission (微香虫探索任務, Bikōchū Tansaku Ninmu) spans from episodes 148 to 151 of the Naruto anime. This arc is preceded by the Mizuki Tracking Mission and is followed by the Kurosuki Family Removal Mission.
Seeing how desperate Naruto wanted to find Sasuke, Team 8 came up with a solution. They requested Tsunade assign them a mission to find the legendary bikōchū beetle that could track any target as long as it had the target's scent. As Kurenai was still hospitalised and there were no other missions available, she approved their request. Naruto was placed on the team as well after being caught spying, and forced to vow not to continue asking for missions to be sent to search for Sasuke, if this one failed. Naruto was annoyed, however to be under Shino's command. Upon finally arriving at the nesting grounds of the bikōchū, the team had great difficulty searching for the bikōchū.
Things became even more complicated when it was discovered that the Kamizuru clan of the Iwagakure were also after the beetle in hopes of restoring their clan honour. After Naruto and his team managed to capture the bikōchū and it laid an egg, Hinata was captured by the enemies and used as a hostage to get the bikōchū egg. While Naruto and his team tried to save her, they fell prey to the enemies' trap and were captured as well. Fortunately, Shino had already hid the bikōchū too thoroughly for the enemies to find. After Hinata escapes from her prison only to seemingly fall off a cliff, Naruto begins to draw on his tailed beast chakra in his rage, frightening an enemy who decides to pre-emptively kill him. Fortunately, Hinata appeared and saved her team. Naruto then watched in amazement as Hinata's new, original technique completely overpowered the enemies' bee-oriented techniques. He was even more shocked to hear he was the one who inspired Hinata to attempt making something so complex and powerful.
After Naruto defeated the last enemy, the bikōchū egg finally began to hatch. Naruto unfortunately could not find Sasuke's forehead protector that he brought for Sasuke's scent. In a fit of desperation, Naruto accidentally farted, causing the baby bikōchū to memorise the latter's scent. This meant the mission was a failure as a bikōchū can only memorise one scent in its lifetime and it will take another year before another egg is hatched. Upon returning to the village, Naruto was forced to face a livid Sakura, who was angered due to his bumbling the last chance Tsunade had permitted them to attempt to find Sasuke.
|#||Episode Title||Japanese Airdate||English Airdate|
|148||The Search for the Rare Bikōchū Beetle||17 August 2005||15 March 2008|
|149||What's the Difference? Don't All Insects Look Alike?||24 August 2005||15 March 2008|
|150||A Battle of Bugs! The Deceivers and the Deceived!||31 August 2005||22 March 2008|
|151||Blaze Away, Byakugan! This is My Ninja Way!||14 September 2005||22 March 2008|