Osage Orange Fruit

Some cool insect repellents images:

Osage Orange Fruit
insect repellents

Image by Universal Pops (Returning April 1)
Taken at Occoneechee State Park near Clarksville, Virginia. I had to dig to identify this startling fruit. The lime-green color stands out on the dark forest floor. And closer, the brain like resemblance is amazing. It was about 4-5 inches across. The fruit presumably has insect repellent properties. The tree has an interesting history and some intriguing modern uses, i.e. the making of acoustic musical instruments.

The number of names applied to the Osage Orange tree is also amazing: hedge apples, hedge balls, bowwood, bois d’arc, bodark, geelhout, mock orange, horse apple, naranjo chino, wild orange, yellow-wood, monkey balls, green brains

Websites for the curious:

hedgeapple.com/
www.post-gazette.com/magazine/20000902monkeyballs6.asp

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Osage Orange Fruit–Enlarged
insect repellents

Image by Universal Pops (Returning April 1)
Taken at Occoneechee State Park near Clarksville, Virginia. I had to dig to identify this startling fruit. The lime-green color stands out on the dark forest floor. And closer, the brain like resemblance is amazing. It was about 4-5 inches across. The fruit presumably has insect repellent properties. The tree has an interesting history and some intriguing modern uses, i.e. the making of acoustic musical instruments.

The number of names applied to the Osage Orange tree is also amazing: hedge apples, hedge balls, bowwood, bois d’arc, bodark, geelhout, mock orange, horse apple, naranjo chino, wild orange, yellow-wood, monkey balls, green brains

Websites for the curious:

hedgeapple.com/
www.post-gazette.com/magazine/20000902monkeyballs6.asp

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Tabano – DSCF4681c
insect repellents

Image by ShutterSparks
Tabanos are perhaps the most despised insects in this area. There are over 3,000 species found throughout the world. 350 species are found in the U.S. They are despised because, like mosquitos, the female requires a blood meal in order to reproduce and the tabano inflicts a serious bite. It attacks vigorously, mostly during the afternoons and on cloudy days during the summer season from April to September. The species that we have here is one of the few that will attack indoors. Any exposed part of the body can be attacked. Males do not bite. Tabanos will readily attack sleeping children. They also attack domestic animals including dogs.

Unlike most blood-feeding insects which surreptitiously puncture the skin with needle-like organs, tabanids have mandibles like tiny serrated knives which they use to cut and rip the flesh open. This causes blood to seep out and the fly licks it up. The resulting wound usually swells into a large painful welt that itches terribly and seeps fluid for days. The discomfort is bad enough for adults but is even worse for small children.

In some parts of the world, tabanids can transmit diseases such as equine infectious anaemia (a virus that affects horses), trypanosomiasis, anthrax, and parasites such as filariasis (loa loa), but these do not occur to any significant extent in Central America.

Tabanids prefer forest settings where there is plentiful water. There is no mitigation. Broadcast insecticides by and large do not work and also damage the environment. Insect repellent, long pants and long sleeved shirts are the best protection. Fortunately these creatures are not as common as mosquitos. One might go for days without seeing one. But expect a few bites each summer.

This is a supermacro shot. This specimen is about 14-15mm long, which is average.

See photo of a bite here: www.flickr.com/photos/shuttersparks/3599271590/

Learn more about Guatemala here: www.mayaparadise.com

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