Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Invasion of the Flying Termites

After the first good rains, in the night, maybe the next night or the night after that, the flying termites emerge. Last night was our flying termite night and it was crazy!

They fly for about an hour, hour and half at most. They fly straight to the light. If you forget to close your window, as we did last night, you will be swamped with them. They all fly to the light and then they lose their wings and are back to being pedestrians. But since they've all congregated at the light already it makes it easy to find a date, which is the whole point of this exercise.

In the morning after the invasion of the flying termites, you will find big piles of wings:

...and other big piles of mostly dead termites. I don't know this but I assume they must have mated and laid eggs somewhere before their demise or else the whole thing seems a very dramatic waste of energy and I know nature doesn't do that.

I understand that some people around Africa fry these termites and eat them. I've never seen it but it does seem a waste, all of these piles and piles of perfectly good morsels of protein. Buster the African Sausage Dog ate a good share of termites this morning and he barely made a dent in the piles.


bonita said...

I'd be so creeped out at the thought of baby termites in the house that I'd have to move. EEEWWWW

Lauri said...

No they're not really creepy like that Bonita. They're mostly annoying because their wings are difficult to sweep up.

Sue Guiney said...

Yikes! You're certainly not in Kansas anymore!

Miss Footloose said...

We had those in Kenya and Ghana. In East Africa they are delicacies. I ahve not tried them, but have swept them up by the bushel load!

I love your photo: It looks like modern art ;)

Lauri said...

Because of the good rains we've been having we had this huge invasion last week and now almost every night mini-invasions. They really are a mess to clean Miss Footloose. The wings especially.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea the wings came off or that they flew for such a long time. Miss Footloose is right - your photo does look like modern art. You should've kept the wings to make a collage. Haha.