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Well, to the readers amongst you, this isn’t about bullfighting, Pernod or absinthe.  It’s  mainly about ants and the reality of the tropics.

First though, some easy to see beauty.

Anartia fatima a very common site in Mexico, but does being common make it any the less beautiful?  Part of it's beauty is in the sadness of it's short two week's of flying time.

Anartia fatima a very common site in Mexico; but does being common make it any the less beautiful? Part of its beauty is in the sadness of its short two week’s of flying time.

We saw this particular butterfly in a patch of jungle near the hill-top in amongst the houses. There are many of them, but this one was the most cooperative in terms of photography.

Unidentified tufty, ringed, caterpillar - Unidentified by me that is - can anyone tell me what it is?

Unidentified tufted, ringed, caterpillar – Unidentified by me that is – can anyone tell me what it is? 

Update: Melissa has identified it as a Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar or Hypercompe scribonia

Walking down the 95 steps from our condo complex to the Malecon may seem a bit boring to many.  But there is always drama and action on the steps.  This tufted and ringed caterpillar, that I have not been able to locate online, was making its way across the steps.  Why, you may ask, did the caterpillar cross the road?  There were no chickens available.

Same fifty fellow, from back a bit.

Same tufted fellow, from back a bit.

I love the orange/red rings and the bumpy bits – oops, sorry getting a little technical here.  I really hope this one ended up as a butterfly.

But now for the heavy drama.  This isn’t pretty but it is beautiful.

Dead centipede being carried away by a dozen ants acting in unison.  Seen in the steps

Dead centipede being carried away by a dozen ants acting in unison. Seen on the steps

Another day on the same steps, not the same particular step, several ants were acting in unison to take this meal back to their headquarters.  I don’t know if the centipede was dead before the ants arrived or whether they hunted and killed it.  Whatever happened it was not going to be wasted.  Nothing in nature is wasted.  It was remarkable to see these ants in action.  In the photo it looks like two of the ants may be injured, but we didn’t notice that while watching the action.

Now for something to watch while eating dinner. Yummy!

Well this dead cockroach (cucaracha)  was more of a 'handful' than the centipede.  The number of ants helping was heater and their coordination less.

This dead cockroach (cucaracha) was more of a ‘handful’ (mandible full?) than the centipede. The number of ants helping was greater but they seemed less coordinated. They kept turning their capture round and didn’t seem to be getting very far. Maybe they were dancing to La Cucaracha.

Another day another step – another drama.  This guy was definitely TU as some say – not me – but some others.  This looked like it would make a huge feast if they ever got the monster home.

My Dad said that when he lived in India the people believed that one day the ants would take over the world.  I can understand that. They certainly like to take over kitchens!  I have never seen such small ants.  But leave one tiny morsel of a speck of an insignificant crumb on the counter and a black ring will appear – literally hundreds of tiny, pesky little ants all helping to devour the treat.  We keep them at bay by liberal washings with vinegar, which they seem to dislike.

Next time a whale of a day.

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