Monday, May 11, 2009

Sonpopos de Mayo!

It is finally the day for sonpopos!
(pronounced sone-POH-pohs, and "de Mayo" means "of May")
A sonpopo

Sonpopos are these large ant-like creatures with wings that fly around. But it is a special day. Why? Sonpopos only come out for ONE day. They live, mate, fly, and die. They also lose their wings throughout the day. They will fight each other, so the kids like to put 2 in a mason jar and bet on which giant ant will win. Sort of macabre, but better than dog fighting.

A cute story from a teacher friend at school...when her son was small, he saw the sonpopos in the morning with wings, and then again in the afternoon as the wings start to fall off. He told his mom, "Look! The ants are getting undressed!"

A sonpopo who has already lost its wings

A less cute story...the indigenous people around here collect the sonpopos, fry them up, and put them on tortillas and eat them. One of my friends here (from the U.S.) took part in this 'feast' in Mexico (where they call them cunus, not sonpopos). He said they tasted a bit 'spicy' from the poison in their bodies, and the flavor stayed in his mouth for about a day. [TMI moment: when the exoskeleton from their bodies got stuck in between his teeth he likened it to popocorn kernels doing the same thing...GROSS!]

Anyways, it's sort of a special day to see, knowing these little guys won't be here tomorrow.

Not a single one.


mandi said...


Jenny Knight said...

Disgusting. Isaiah thinks it's all cool, though.