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Crawling critters creeping you out?

Let’s delve into the terrifying tales of some of nature’s wicked winged and other things.

The end of October signals cooler weather and brings with it the notion of all things creepy, crawly, scary, and funny!

Bugs and other critters are surrounded by a haze of myths and fear-generating stories that are passed down through family stories or other folklore. Let’s delve into the terrifying tales of some of nature’s frightening local denizens.

  • The black witch moth (Ascalapha odorata) is a migratory visitor to San Antonio and comes up from Mexico each year. According to folklore widely spread across Central America and the Caribbean, this moth is said to be an omen of bad fortune and even death. In reality it’s just a brown moth with purple markings that likes to hang out under eaves in the day and fly at night.
  • Mexican freetail bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) are also a summer visitor to south Texas and are rumored to feed on pesky mosquitoes and other insects. In truth, bat diets are composed primarily of moths and other insects that fly in the dark, with mosquitoes comprising a very small portion of their menu. Farmers love bats because they eat the moths that lay eggs on their corn, cotton, and sorghum crops.
  • Harvestmen, aka daddy long legs, are a group of arachnids that hunt their prey by stalking them. Many believe the harvestmen are the most venomous spider in the world. But harvestmen lack both silk and venom glands and pose absolutely no danger to humans. Fun fact: they do emit a liquid that smells like nail polish remover when disturbed. (Smell you later!)

Intrigued? Want to learn more about local creepy crawlers? Join our webinar at noon Thursday, Oct.  27.

Registration is free and WaterSaver Rewards members can earn one point for attending and answering the post-webinar quiz questions.

Nathan Riggs
Nathan Riggs
Nathan Riggs is a SAWS project coordinator and licensed irrigator who also happens to have a degree in entomology from Texas A&M University. Yes, Nathan’s a bug expert, and not just on water bugs! When he’s not hard at work on SAWS conservation projects, he enjoys a wide variety of interests including: landscaping, hiking, photography of flowers, insects and other critters, and planning his next adventure with his wife Ella and family.
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