Wednesday, August 8, 2007

ambitious cricket & gecko

Buying flea stuff yesterday at the local pet supply store (no chain stores, if possible), I picked up some crickets and mealworms for my son's leopard gecko. He gave her a mouthful of a name, Chillibilena, so I call her Chilly-Billy. Chilly prefers crickets over mealworms. She stalks them on her long, translucent orange legs, then lunges so quickly that you'll miss the movement if you blink. Tongue flashes out, gulp, she smacks her lips, and it's on to the next.

We buy a dozen at a time and she eats them in a couple of days. Important note: crickets go stale quickly, so you don't want to buy more than your reptile will eat in a short time. Some of the crickets commit suicide in the shallow water dish, so it's best to check back frequently to remove them. Dead crickets apparently lose flavor. Actually, if they're not moving, they won't get the gecko's attention.

One cricket has been steadily chirping since yesterday. He reminds me of one of my cockatiels, who goes into these long arias of sound and then suddenly stops. This one noisy cricket climbs to the top of the coconut shell that is Chilly-Billy's boudior, looks down at the others, and chirps. Antennae vibrate back and forth, so you really have to wonder if they're communicating about something. It's like those movies of revolutions when one guy stands on a platform exhorting the crowd to insurrection or riot. Crickets are not smart enough to unite their forces in this manner but I'll let you know if that changes.

Meanwhile, Chilly-Billy doesn't seem to mind the noise and sleeps right through it. If it were me, though, I'd eat that particular cricket first.

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