Over the past few weeks I have been “introduced” in one way or another, mostly accidental, to creatures that are indigenous to Belize, or maybe just to the southern part of Belize.
The most recent discovery was of a Hunter Spider. I am not sure if this is its name or if it is the classification. Just as some spiders spin webs and others lay traps, the hunter spider jumps on its prey. From what I was told it likes to hunt insects and other types of bugs, so this would be a good type of spider to keep around. The spider in the picture had a body of approximately 1″ long and its legs were approximately 2″ long. Total span was about 5″.
Yesterday’s creature was a blue crab. This one really surprised me because we are 3 blocks from the sea. Now I knew these creatures didn’t live in the sea as I have seen their homes across the road from the water, but I didn’t expect 3 town blocks, lots of houses and people in between the crab and the water. I am learning something new all the time! The crab in the picture below has a body of about 4-5″ across and it’s legs were about 6-7″ long. And apparently, they grow much bigger. One has been seen by my housemates that had a body span of about 12″.
Two weeks ago I came across road kill – a scorpion had been flattened but you will be able to get a pretty good idea of what it looked like. And apparently this one was a youngster. The length of this one was approximately 4-5″.
The other create I came across in my travels was of a snake. Now, originally I thought that what I saw was a sloughed skin from a snake, but upon speaking with a resident snake specialist, it turns out that what I came across was just a dead snake, without its head attached. Now this is quite possible as it is not uncommon to see the men walking around with machetes. And one of the purposes of this is for protection from the snakes. According to the specialist, the way we know this is not just sloughed skin is that it isn’t clear and colourless. When I was visiting his “zoo” earlier this week he showed me what a sloughed skin would look like. He also showed me several other types of snakes that he has in captivity, including a Fer de Lance, known locally as a Tommy Gough, a Coral Snake, a King Snake (and these two are quite similar but one is highly poisonous and the other isn’t). The length of this snake was approximately 2 feet. And if you look closely you can see the backbone running down the length.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks and I look forward to seeing and learning more!