Now that the rain has started, insects have been peppering the windows like birdshot. Moths drum frantic tattoos with their wings. Beetles of all types have are throwing themselves against the glass. Some of the scarabs are heavy enough to rattle the panes, while smaller ones make a ticking sound like a tin roof in the sun.
Last night’s ant swarm brought cane toads out from the forest. They lined up beneath the bay window to feed on the insects that dropped from the sills.
After the ants came the termites, shedding their wings as soon as they landed. And then the cricket arrived.
The first signs were percussion ripples in my coffee. (Actually, the ripples turned out to be the last moments of a small beetle that had dropped from the ceiling.) Then I spotted this fabulous creature sitting on the window frame. I wanted to coax her into a jar for an even better look but I didn’t have a container big enough. What I really needed was a bird cage. And a lion tamer's chair.
I think it's a raspy cricket (family Gryllacrididae). The flattened, almost lobe-like pads of the tarsi ('toe' segments) distinguish these giants from the equally bulky and fearsome king and forest crickets (family Stenopelmatidae). They rest by day in burrows or shelters of leaf litter sewn together with silk, emerging at night to feed on ... well ... whatever they want to, I suppose. If only they fed on cane toads ...