Bug time

After the first rains we get all sorts of buggy visitors:-

Millipedes (called Songololos here)

The millipede visitors we get are of the genus Doratogonus, the major black millipede.  It is a rather large-bodied and conspicuous African millipede . Doratogonus species are generally black or blackish-brown in colour, often with brown or yellowish legs and antennae.

These guys are not shy and by the end of summer you find them having sex out in the open all over the place.  A good girl keeps her eyes tipped towards the sky when walking around at that time of the year.

Centipedes

Centipedes  are arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda. They have a mean nip  and move quite fast – a lot creepier than the Millipedes.

Red Roman Spider

Arachnid solifugae –  This  arachnid has a common name which suggests that it is a spider, it is not. The only similarity they share with spiders is the fact that they have eight legs. Solifugids have no venom glands and are not a threat to man although they are very aggressive and fast-moving and can inflict a painful bite. They run from shadow to shadow and they run at you  Eeeek .  Luckily we really only see them in spring time for some reason.

Whip  spider (also sometimes called a scorpion spider or whip scorpion)

Amblypygids are also known as whip spiders and tailless whip scorpions (not to be confused with whip scorpions that belong to the Arachnid order Thelyphonida – although I think we get both here and tend to lump them all together). The name “amblypygid” means “blunt rump”, a reference to a lack of the telson (“tail”) carried by related species. They are totally harmless.  Now you tell me how to pronounce  Amblypygid?  These guys don’t really bother me but they do live in our thatch roofs and fall down into our cottages when it’s really windy.

Stick Insects

The Phasmatodea  are an order of insects, whose members are variously known as stick insects, walking sticks or stick-bugs, phasmids, ghost insects and leaf insects. Their natural camouflage can make them extremely difficult to spot. We get to see them most often at night when they come to our lights.  Some are really huge – the biggest I have seen was longer than an A4 page. They are very similar in nature and movement to praying mantises.  They are pleasant to have around and don’t bother us at all.

I think I am going to stop here for now and keep the other 1 000 007 for another post.  The Bean sleeps with a mosquito net, and we have gauze over most of our windows to stop these creatures from getting inside.  They do sometimes get in though and we are getting used to removing them when necessary and also checking carefully when you feel something tickling you in bed – I learned the hard way when I got a nasty nip from something – you do not just swat first and check later.

Picture credits:

http://forum.pythonium.de/, http://en.wikipedia.org,  http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnolouise/ (Red Roman), http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/, http://eriksamwel.com/ (scorpion spider),

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4 thoughts on “Bug time

  1. Do you get Fire Ants? After a good rain here, the yard just explodes with Fire Ant piles popping up everywhere. It is a constant battle for about 8 months of the year.

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