Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Gally Napper.

Or Daddy Longlegs to you and me. Eww they give me the heebie-jeebies- I loathe the way you can never be quite sure which way their flight path will take them yet I know that I am quite irrational about them because they are totally harmless. They are neither a mosquito nor a spider [there is an arachnid of the same name] but a fly and no, tempting though it may be, I don't kill them. I just try to avoid them during this month when they are everywhere.

In a vain attempt to improve my perception of them I decided to do a little online googling to find out a bit more about them and there's not a lot going for them really. They start out life as an obese maggoty type bug called a leatherjacket which spends its time eating decaying material. It is useful if it is doing its munching in the right environment but several thousand signed their own death warrants in 1935 when they chewed their way through the grass roots on the wicket at the Lords Cricket Ground. They were collected up and burnt by the ground staff.

Known as Johnny Spinners and Craneflies [their legs resemble the crane's long, thin legs] the adults only live for two weeks. A quick bit of how's your father and that's it.... duty done and toes turned up only for the cycle to begin again. I understand that they're a very important part of the ecosystem providing a food source for many animals, birds and spiders.

Having discovered that they are the second most feared creature after spiders [that surprised me...I thought snakes might be higher in the fear rankings] I now know I am not alone. I was delighted to hear that 2014 is a bumper year for them as it's been such a good summer. I must go and inform my son....he's about as keen on them as I am. In fact the only one who would have been thrilled would have been Twitten....she used to love catching them and crunching them. It sounded rather like a human crunching Twiglets!

Arilx

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