Chongololo Wars

Written By: The Lowdown - Dec• 31•12

Chongololo’s have always held a fascination for me. Whether this is as a result of my brother and sister (older) ‘traumatising’ me by putting them down the back of my shirt when I was a young child or whether it is the way their legs move so effortlessly and in such a co-ordinated way as they glide across the ground, I don’t know. Whatever the reason for this fascination I look forward to their arrival at the end of the year (yes, I am no longer scared of them).

As I have grown older, I have a growing interest in the wonders of nature. This coupled with the advent of the internet which gives me the answers to almost any question I may have on the myriad of creepy things which I come across daily and the need to always have a camera on hand so that I can build up a stock of photo’s for the use in the magazine, has meant that I am looking at humble creatures such as the chongololo a lot more closely.

Thus, when earlier this year we published an article about the Chongololo Club, we went in search of a nice fat chongololo to photograph. Given the time of year, we thought it would be easy but what we discovered was that as we were experiencing a dry spell even though we should have been having regular rain, the chongololo’s had disappeared! A long and thorough search of my garden only turned up with two tiny chongololo’s, neither of which were any good as models for my photographs.

The search continued in the garden at our offices where after sometime, we did manage to find a fairly respectable specimen. This then had us outside in the glare of the midday sun trying to figure out the best angle from which to photograph a relatively fast moving black tube with synchronized red-brown waving legs. Whilst we were doing our photo shoot, a second specimen of almost equal size was found.

Placing the coiled up body of Chongo Two into the same container as Chongo One who was footing it at a fairly fast pace was not in the least bit interesting.

But then the mischief began.

We decided that the still tightly coiled Chongo Two should be placed in the path of Chongo One and that was when the action started.

Chongo One immediately, and with great vigour, began to insert itself in between the coils of Chongo Two. This ‘insertion’ seemed incredibly violent as the Chongololo’s became intertwined. Even though this lasted less than a minute, it was long enough for us to contemplate trying to separate them so that the violence could stop.

But before we could figure out how to separate two writhing chongololo’s, the wrestling did stop and they came to rest, still intertwined, face to face, with their synchronized legs perfectly arranged on the other’s body. And there they remained unmoving, for a good five minutes by which time we had become bored and turfed them out of the box back onto a pile of leave mould, where one assumes they did eventually disentangle themselves and go their separate ways.

Or was this encounter the start of a long love affair between our two chongololo’s who lived happily ever after under the leaf mould.










You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.