Caribbean Bugs – Orchestral Movements in the Dark

Night Bugs in the Caribbean Dark

One of my very favourite things about living in a tropical environment happens after dark!

When night time falls and we humans are getting ready to sleep, a whole range of nocturnal creatures start to awaken and get themselves ready for a night of eating, mating and making noise. And what a beautiful noise it is – like a natural insect orchestra in which every creature has their specific part to play. I find it amazing that at times the sound intensifies suddenly as if being conducted to rise to a crescendo and then fade away just as mysteriously.

I definitely prefer those creatures that stay outside – I don’t like to watch the suicides of the moths and creatures attracted to the light and the buzzing sound of something in the bedroom can be insomniacally disturbing.

It’s a strange phenomenon that these night bugs should be so attracted to light even to the point of suicide. In researching I found out that it’s because of phototaxis. According to ‘How Stuff Works’ phototaxis is “an organism’s automatic movement toward or away from light.” Certain bugs have a propensity to the light and are positively phototactic, whilst others such as cockroaches are negatively phototactic and will run away as soon as you switch on the lights. The suicidal tendencies of bugs launching themselves into the light of a candle or hot bulb are explained by the fact that these creatures have evolved to be orientated by the light of the moon. However whilst the distant light guides them to fly straight and safely the brighter lights within the house throw off that navigation system and have them endlessly spiraling or worse crashing head on. Apparently a more yellow light is less attracting so I think I’ll invest in a few honey coloured Cialis 5-20mg bulbs from now on.

As for the sound of insect music, I also love listening to the dawn transition as the hum of nocturnal creatures slowly fades and are replaced by early morning bird calls. It’s a magical wall of sound that is a beautiful and melodic background to life in the Caribbean.

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