Friday, May 14, 2010
Gecko Proof Moth
Once the sun sets in warm weather and when I keep the lights down, my friends the Gecko people emerge from behind picture frames and bookcases looking for nice tasty insects to eat. I have no shortage of geckos with maybe more than 10-12 that share the cabin with me. Some are quite large pushing 4" or so,while others are tiny sprites likely just hatched.
I was raised in the days of screen doors and any time I held door open for more than a couple of seconds back then , someone would surely screech out for me to shut it "so the bugs don't get in". Those days have long since vanished around here. I don't have screens on the doors, but don't always leave them open either, especially during June Bug season. But still after dark I leave the front porch light on and the front door open so as to supply my gecko people with a nightly buffet for maybe 30-40 minutes. This "in-flight" usually consists of moths, craneflies and other small insects, including beetles. Soon there are numbers of insects on the ceilings and walls and the door is shut.
I turn off the lights as I go to sleep. Sometimes after I turn off the lights after resting a bit, maybe an hour, I then suddenly turn the lights back on seeing 4-7 Geckos on the ceilings and walls scarfing up on the goods. They know the drill. I awaken the morning to find every single moth, beetle, cranefly etc. has vanished, consumed by my herd of geckos,...Yes sir there is not a bug to be found on the wall ceilings or anywhere.....With one BIG exception. This moth on the right ( Hypoprepia miniata - Scarlet-winged Lichen Moth). Abundant at this time of year, these moths are often found in the dozens at my lights, but the gecko people want nothing to do with them at all. Won't touch them for nothing so these moths are the sole remaining insects I find in the house the following morning. They must be very non-tasty, toxic or the colors ward off the geckos. It is a curious thing.
The only other invert I find in the house in the mornings is the occasional bark scorpion. In fact I figure a scorpion would eat a tiny gecko if it could. Oh well, just how it goes around here. Family matters can be boring for those not involved.
I like geckos, and reckon it would be a sadder place to live without them. Sometimes I find their little black and white turds on a counter top or in the bath tub, by day they are ghosts behind walls and in crevices.