Friday, August 08, 2008

More of the Hideous World of Bugs

Still working on the garage. This evening I was preparing to mess with it some more when I noticed a cicada killer (a.k.a. giant ground hornet) down in the grass wrapped around a very immobilized cicada. These wasps are big enough to fly while gripping a cicada. I maintained a respectful distance.

The biggest wasp I've ever seen was in Costa Rica, where huge bugs abound. I was birding in Braulio Carillo National Park when I came upon a Pepsis wasp (tarantula hawk) nervously hunting on the trail ahead of me. It was several inches in length, and I imagine the prey it was searching for must have been one of the larger "bird-eating spiders." Again I kept my distance. The sting of a Pepsis wasp is supposed to be second in pain only to the bite of a bullet ant. Incidentally, there are bullet ants in Braulio Carrillo. Also trees with spines like sharpened knitting needles projecting from their trunks. And I saw a gorgeous golden-yellow eyelash viper on one of the trails there. Birds too. It's a great place.

A few days ago I removed a big pile of debris from our yard, mostly wood and sheetrock from the garage project. Never seen so many cockroaches. Under that pile of garbage they had established a little cockroach metropolis. When I raised the last couple of boards they were everywhere. I could actually hear the rush as they scattered.


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