Cyn's Fauna List

2:41 PM

New country, new fauna. I've been in India long enough to notice that some animals and bugs are actually more common here than in Switzerland. The following list is actually actually the list of animals I saw personnally. Keep in mind I lived only in big cities so far.
That spider and the Praying Mantis I saw yesterday got me on the topic, so here is :

  • Monkeys, probably my biggest surprise when I arrived in Bangalore in 2003. I grew up in Switzerland, monkeys, you see in Zoos and nowhere else. Not in your flat stealing your bananas and cookies. I learned pretty fast that closing the balcony door was the only option to prevent the pillage.
  • Corckroaches, those are universal. The thing though, is that in tropical countries they multiply faster and pest control never really get rid of them more than a few month a time. The first week in my new flat, I had an infestation on my hand, they love breeding in wet spot and behind furniture. The previous tennant never did anything, and when I bombed the place with spray hundreds of them in all sizes came flying out...the best tool to kill them : a shoe. It was however a very traumatic event, and that night I didnt sleep much.
  • Squirels, quite cute creatures. Except at 5 am when they start squealing that is. I never knew those little furball could scream like this. So much so I first though it was a bird. I love watching them, they are all stripes, black and light brown.
  • Butterflies, so so many different kinds. In Chennai I remembered counting no less than 10 different type of butterflies flying around a tree full of flowers. There are green and black ones, black and red ones, metallic blue ones, yellow ones...all in different shapes and size, lovely sight really.
  • Owls. Three months ago I would have told you that an owl is a nocturnal bird, and until 3 month ago, I never actually saw one for real in the "wild". That was before one morning at 11 am. A beautiful and rather big barn owl actually landed on my balcony. It stayed there only for a few seconds because some crows were bothering it. I was not expecting owl post, so why on earth was that big bird up at that time of the day? That too in a big residential complex... Shall I start expecting letters from Hogwarts?
  • Green birds, they are actually hard to see, because they hide in the trees but they make a sound that is typical, like "Prooo, Prooo".  Which, I can't really explain here, I was amazed by those when I first got a glimpse of one.
  • Lizards, my allies in the mosquito fight, they are most welcome in my house. I always had a few in all the flats I lived in. They breed behind the tube lights in every room and go out at night. I know people who are afraid of them or simply want them out of the house...I don't. I prefer having a lizard taking care of flying insects rather than a spider.
  • Caterpillars, I don't know how many spieces there are but I listed a few, from the small green one I usually find in vegetables to a wierd long black and red one with zillion legs crawling in my living room in Chennai...the last one was a bit yuck despite the fact it was bearing two colors I like to wear together..maybe it was the fact it was 10 cm (4 inches) long.
  • Stray Dogs, they come in every size and colors, live in packs all round the city, are quite territorial and bark a lot at night. they eat what they can find in the garbage and during the mating season be assured to see some public display of copulation, they are not shy about jumping on each other in the middle of the road.
  • Cows, should I tell you more about Indian cows? They are everywhere on the street if not lying in the middle of it and enjoying it. I will need to write a blog entry about them, amd post some pics as well.
  • Goats, I discovered those are atually very efficient at making trash disappear, they eat and munch quite a lot of things, edible or not. I find them really really cute, I always liked goat...maybe because in chinese astrology I'm from the year of the Goat (called Sheep sometimes).
  • Spiders...no need to go further in this...I'm still traumatized from yesterday's experience. They come in various sizes.
  • Praying Mantis, that one was the latest surprise. I found one on my bed yesterday night when I was inspecting the bedroom for spiders (remember I got shit scared of one earlier in the evening). I thought it was a leaf at first, but realised it was too perfectly light green to begin with, and about 10 cm (4 inches) long with a gracious head...despite the fact I had a vague idea about the identity of the new intruder I told myself it was a grasshopper (which I'm more familliar with and could cope better with in my state of trauma); I trapped her into a pastic box and kicked her out. Then went back to the bedroom, worried about what would pop up next in my room since it seemed to be the day for big insects.
    This morning I ran a google search on praying mantis and yep I knew it! The pretty leaf looking bug was indeed one. I also learned that some persons like them as pets...why not?...but not to my taste. I liked her better when I learned they actually eat spider alive. The pet keeping option doesn't sound so silly after all.


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