August 10, 2007

Invasion of the body snatchers....

cicada, Honduras
For a minute that is what I thought.

Have you ever heard of the torsalo fly? No? Well.....good! You don't want to hear about it, read about it, or see it. Trust me.

cicada, HondurasSomeone made a cryptic comment about the torsalo on a discussion group and being the curious type, of course I followed the link. Big mistake. I did not want to know about that.

Later, wanting to share my horror (don't we always?), I sat at the breakfast room table telling El Jefe about this horrendous creature. He had never heard of it either, so hopefully that is a good sign that they aren't common around La Ceiba. Not more than a few minutes later, however, a big hairy fly zoomed down and attached itself to my shirt. I went berserk! "That's it! That's it!" I screamed.

cicada, HondurasAfter using a tissue to pull the thing off my shirt, I started to squish it when I realized that I wouldn't be able to identify it if it was squished. So I found a large needle and skewered it instead.

After a lot of searching for torsalo pictures or for flies that look like this, I discovered, as you probably already knew the minute you looked at the photo, that this is a harmless cicada.

I'm glad I figured that out because we subsequently had an invasion of these tiny cicadas inside the house. An incredible video of the life of the 17-year cicadas is here. This cicada was much smaller than the cicadas I've seen in Texas, maybe about 1/4 of the size. I've also seen the shells of the larger ones hanging on trees here in Honduras. Whatever kind we have, they are definitely LOUD!

For those of you who are a glutton for punishment or just don't have enough things to worry about, I'll save you a few steps and give you the torsalo link on one condition: Don't say I didn't warn you.

The human bot fly
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