Spiders & Other Creepy Crawlys

#1 Jan 24th, 2009, 02:58
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#1
Just wondering if anyone could tell me about the spiders and creepy crawlys in Kolkata?
#2 Jan 24th, 2009, 03:14
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Coming from Australia I shouldn't think you'd have anything to worry about in India!

What sort of thing did you want to know about? Cockroaches of all sizes are pretty common and there are some gorgeous coloured beetles. The diversity of insects is astonishing, I suspect that learning to recognise them all would be a life's work.

As for spiders, I've only ever seen tiny ones in Delhi and Rajasthan. There is apparently some form of tree spider, about the size of a plate, but although I've asked around, nobody seems to have seen one. I think they must be fairly shy.
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#3 Jan 24th, 2009, 03:17
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Come into my parlour....
#4 Jan 24th, 2009, 03:40
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I'm under the impression that South & North America have the deadliest varieties of spiders. I've never heard of anyone killed by a spider in India. I could be wrong, of course.

Here's a site I found on toxicity of spiders US-AU-CN:

http://www.termite.com/spider-identification-chart.html
#5 Jan 24th, 2009, 03:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylo View Post Coming from Australia I shouldn't think you'd have anything to worry about in India!
Sad but true.
A few small or large cockroaches are there, but most places are sprayed with a chemical so toxic, you'll grow an extra arm.
There are a lot of snakes in India, almost as many as OZ, but I've only ever seen them in villages or ashrams.
Some really cheap places have bed bugs, but I got them in Rome as well!!.
There are a lot of wasps in markets, especially on honey and ripe fruit. People just shoo them away.
From my experience, flies are a lot less common in India than they are in Oz as well, but I live in a "high shit" area, and the dung beetles can't do everything.
#6 Jan 24th, 2009, 03:55
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Originally Posted by Kabaary Come into my parlour....
There's one Bengali beast for you davie!

Quote:
A few small or large cockroaches are there, but most places are sprayed with a chemical so toxic, you'll grow an extra arm.
Cool! So if there was enough of the stuff you'd end up looking like a spider yourself.

Delhi is replete with a range of toffee-hued bugs of the roach family, some big-bottomed ant-like things that bite (bed bugs for all I know, I just squash 'n' go), mozzies and, of course, the resident chipkali to eat them all!
Mosquitos suck.
#7 Jan 24th, 2009, 04:08
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Originally Posted by KABAARY View Post Come into my parlour....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyderabadi View Post I could be wrong, of course.
Any franchise opportunities, in these hard economic times? Sirjee?
#8 Jan 24th, 2009, 08:43
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Perhaps you should check out Plagues and Pleasures of Life in Bengal, in Google Books.

It's a 19th century account of insects and other creepy things Bengali, jungle plants, etc., that might shed light and perspective on your Calcutta surroundings.
#9 Jan 24th, 2009, 08:46
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Originally Posted by indiaprof View Post Perhaps you should check out Plagues and Pleasures of Life in Bengal, in Google Books.
.
Is that a book of rickshaw driver's mugshots?. And ice creams?
#10 Jan 24th, 2009, 08:47
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Despite turning over lots of rocks and looking for poisonous snakes, the "scariest" thing I saw was a 6" millipede.
#11 Jan 24th, 2009, 08:49
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Oh yuck!!. Those giant millipedes in the grass at the ashram.
Me , screaming like a girl, and the local women just rolling their eyes and pulling them in half in front of me!!
What a MAN!!
#12 Jan 24th, 2009, 08:58
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I don't know about Calcutta, but in Hyderabad I found a cockroach in my flat so large that I thought, for a moment, that it was some terribly lost armadillo. I threw a copy of the Manual of the Madras Presidency (which is a really big book!) at it, but missed by a hair. It just wiggled its antenae at me. I then saw it scuttle down a drain, so I blocked up the drain, ran to the corner store and bought everything toxic and corrosive they owned. I dumped it all down the drain. The next day, he was back. I would try to explain how enormous this critter was, but no one would believe me. We eventually made peace, and I called the creature "Room-mate."
#13 Jan 24th, 2009, 16:03
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#13
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Originally Posted by palerider View Post From my experience, flies are a lot less common in India than they are in Oz as well, but I live in a "high shit" area, and the dung beetles can't do everything.
Haha, beautifully phrased! I was surprised at how few flies there are in India, even the cobbled yard at a Hindu temple which was literally coated with cowshit had hardly any. Perhaps it is because it was all so dry? The most flies I saw were swarms of them round the open air sweet stalls at Diwali time. Those sweets looked delicious too, it made me wish I hadn't had an education in biology!

Quote:
Originally Posted by palerider View Post Me , screaming like a girl
No reason for quoting that instead of the bit about the centipede, except that I love that image. How big were these centipedes? I'd heard that if you try and pull them off you, giant centipedes dig their feet in, which are poisoned. Would be interested to know whether that is correct, but I might, just might, have screamed too.
#14 Jan 24th, 2009, 17:09
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They're black and between 9 and 12 inches long, and about 6mm across.
They really are scary, more scary than funnel web spiders, or trap door spiders.
Really creepy, and fast. Even the local birds won't eat them.
#15 Jan 25th, 2009, 01:48
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Lots and lots of flies here in the summer months, and more than a few all winter.

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