Weird and Pretty Insects of Costa Rica

Never did I think I’d write “pretty and insects” in the same sentence!  But I’ve come to acknowledge that some insects can be rather cool looking with pretty colors and interesting textural details…the only rule I have with them is they cannot land on me and they cannot enter my house.  Their fate is not guaranteed if they come into my house.  Take for example this gigantic cockroach who decided he liked my toothbrush…and who took a long swim down my toilet.  Yes, I might be a vegetarian, but when gross cucarachas take up residence on something I use every day…all bets are off.

Costa Rica cockroach

The cicadas below deliver a melodic chorus throughout the day and into the night.  They like to hangout on the branches of trees and sing to their heart’s content.  Some people may find their monotonous sound annoying but I rather like it.  It drowns out any noise I may be hearing from the main road off in the distance and gives me a daily reminder that I live in a jungle paradise.

Patience and a little bit of courage is required to photograph the insects of Costa Rica.  Especially those that fly.  The grasshopper below erratically flew right at me and hit me in the face.  They really have no sense of direction or ability to fly gracefully.

Costa Rica grasshopper

This colorful bumblebee was already dead when I came across it.  For days after, I had the baby bumblebee children’s song stuck in my head.


And then there are the funny little beetles (at least, I think they’re beetles), that get flipped over and can’t right-side themselves.  This one ended up with a leaf on its tummy.  Not to worry, I right-sided it and it wandered off.

Ah well, all in a day’s work.

Pura vida…Chrissy

Under Attack in the Tropics

The other day, I was standing outside, holding my cat as we watched two black birds that were squawking, making all kinds of noise.  As I looked around my back patio, I noticed hundreds of extra large black ants scurrying around (really, for an ant, they were huge).  I followed the path but they seemed to be coming from all different directions; they were moving so fast and I couldn’t figure out where they were going or what they were doing!  They were just acting crazy mad!

It was at dusk and honestly, I couldn’t figure out what they were doing and didn’t want to deal with them swarming my house so I grabbed my scorpion spray (yes, I broke down and bought some, but didn’t buy ant spray because my local market didn’t have any – nor did they have any whole wheat bread, but that’s another post) and sprayed the perimeter of my house, hoping that the spray wouldn’t hurt the little baby garrobo that’s been hanging out on my patio these last few weeks (he’s so cute!).

That seemed to scare the ants and they eventually dissipated.  About an hour later, the rain started.  I don’t know…can ants predict rain? (google it and learn that yes, they can)  I texted a friend who, after laughing at me for a few minutes, told me it could have been the oncoming rain or something dead that was in the area.  I told her about the ants in my washing machine and she said that they may be looking for a warm place to nest since it’s winter.  And even though I told her I didn’t want to know, she told me the big, oval, cream-colored things in my soap dispenser were ant eggs.  Oh god help me!!  It’s one thing to deal with ants…but eggs!  Ewwwwww!  Laughing at me more, she then once again said, Welcome to the Tropics!

Most mornings, I come downstairs to find ants sleeping on my kitchen counter.  I’m totally serious, they’re asleep.  Living here is so wild.  Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

And because I always try to find the positive, I then googled symbolism of ants.  Last year, when I awoke to a tarantula in one of my hotel rooms just a few feet from my bed, my friend told me that they symbolize the ability to shed one’s skin, transformation and creativity.  So that made me feel better about this gigantic, furry spider in my room as I could put a positive spin on it.

Trying to shoo him out the door

So what do ants symbolize: patience, stamina, planning, storing for the future, perseverance…but really, I think it was because of the rain.

The photo at the top is not of that particular day but another day when ants decided to build a nest outside of my back door.  Honestly, every day, there is something new going on at my house.

Pura vida…Chrissy