I have always been a loner since when I was a kid. I only got 3 friends from the neighborhood that are of my age, and they were the only ones that I can really get along well. I dropped out of my first school because I could not adjust to the environment where other kids are around me (I am never used to crowded places with people full of energy).
So, if my friends (the three of them) were at school, I could just be found in my mom’s garden where I would be digging dirt or look for critters. My sisters called me disgusting for keeping tiny animals in vials or medicine bottles.
Here are some of the critters that I could remember catching: (I don’t wanna talk scientific; I talk about them as a child here hahahaha)
1. This Tiny Snail
I have been looking for its name on the internet, but I still could not find it. So, can somebody identify this for me? I used to see this in the garden just under the shade of the plants.
2. The Terrestrial Crustacean
When I was about 6 years old, our house was located near a forest. I would walking near the forest when its noon so I could find these little creatures right underneath the grasses. Woodlice roll into balls when disturbed. They call it “baboy-baboy” (baboy means pig). I don’t even know why. It does not look like a pig to me.
3. Tetragnatha caudata
I used to find these long-bodied spiders on lemon grass leaves. You could find them waiting for preys on their webs or just hiding behind rolled leaves of the lemon grass.
4. Tiny Butterfly
This is one common butterfly, Zizeeria karsandra, that could be found anywhere in our place. They’re so tiny that they’re about the size of your thumbnail.
I really though that this was a scorpion because of that pincer on its rear end. I could always find them inside cracks or crevices that are hidden under a very old floormats.
6. Lady bug
The aphid-eater in the garden.
This one is another beetle that I once had captured in a vial — the golden tortoise beetle.
7. Tiny Garden Millipede
I used to find millipedes like this in the garden. You could find them in dark shades where the soil is moist and rich.
8. Velvet Ant
There’s this one experience that I could never ever ever forget. I was looking for specimens to be put in my bottles. I was only 8 years old and I was looking at a line of ants as they were dragging a piece of the biscuit I was eating. Then, I saw this weird looking ant that moves so fast. The color in its body is screaming of something like anger (at least, that’s how I interpreted it). I tried to catch it, but it was sooooo fast. It was my first time encountering this weirdly-colored ant. I used my bear hands to catch it… then I felt this sudden burning sensation on my fingers. It’s so painful! I tried not to cry even if the pain was Hell. Hahahaha! I never tried to touch it again.
I learned that this “ant” was actually a type of wasp that’s wingless (but only the females are wingless though). Also known as Cow Killer. I thank God this didn’t kill me
9. Tiny Lion
This was a popular critter in the childhood of every 90’s Filipino kid. Kids before would go find tiny holes with Ant lion larvae in it. They would try to put ants in the hole and the ant lion larva would wrestle with it and drag it into the pit. Yes, it would look like an episode of a SciFi horror movie.
The adult Ant lion looks like a damselfly. I’ve only captured one in my entire life.
11. Tiny Dragons or Helicopters
I’ve always been in love with these fierce insects! Damselflies and Dragonflies have always made me interested in