Monday, January 29, 2007

The geckos' midnight feast

There was torrential rain for most of last night, undermining our hopes that the break in the rainy season had arrived.

In the morning, the veranda was covered with several hundred small brown leaf-like objects, so light that they moved as I walked through them. I was puzzled for some time, then realised that these were wings, all that remained of a swarm of flying ants. Whether they were sheltering from the rain, or just happened to be passing and were attracted to the security light, I do not know. In any event, our resident population of geckos, which numbers between 20 and 30, must be completely gorged on these creatures and is probably suffering from the effects of the gluttony, if geckos know such a thing.

It is claimed that geckos keep the mosquito population down. I am rather sceptical about this, because we regularly see flying ants, although not in such large numbers as were slaughtered last night. Their body weight is about 10 times that of a mosquito (I'm guessing!), so I can see little incentive for our geckos to go chasing the mossies. I will admit that based on the evidence from last night, their appetites are rather indiscriminate.

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