Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mopane Caterpillars!

A while ago in my Wild Orchids post I mentioned  mopane trees and the caterpillar that lives on them during a certain time of the year. Here by us they emerge in December and January and are quickly gone again. Much to my surprise Cules phoned me from the Thsipise area to tell me that mopane worms are crawling around the area in magnitudes...this is April people! I have never heard of mopane worms being about this time of year...GLOBAL WARMING sprang to mind immediately! This is so,so weird. Here is a pic of one. One of the most sought after delicacies in the whole of Africa, people! The natives go totally bonkers when they see them and are willing to buy them from you if they happen to see them on your farm...

Tummy view.. 

The photo is a bit blurry,but gives you a good idea as to how colourful and big they are..

Now, in case you were wondering how these are harvested, so you can taste them when you come to visit Africa....You take said worm by the head, with your other hand you take the worm between thumb and forefinger and squeeze out all its bodily juices through the back end...Do you see those spikes on its back,that's the reason you work from head to tail...,unless you like to wear spiky worms on your fingers! Then dry them in the sun for a couple of days..and Voila! I have to say I have never eaten them before,maybe when I was very little our maid might have fed them to me without my Mom knowing... Maria,  if you are still alive and well please tell me you never fed those to me!!! Everyone I meet who has eaten them says they are quite nice...mmmm worms for dinner anyone?  Anyone!!


  1. Okay... now this is interesting! These big guys should take a note from their little cousins in Greece... in Greece they give off some sort of something that makes people itch very badly! No eating...that's for sure. Now snails here... those little cuties better watch out!
    Thanks for this very interesting bit of magic from Africa!~

  2. M-m-m yummy! I'll pass on those critters thank you very much!

    Beautiful though. Must be a good source of protein, don't you think?

  3. This is post is so gross it's wonderful! ;) Colorful little beasts they are! And I can see how they'd dress up a salad nicely enough. But "squeeze out their bodily juices"? Great, Liesl! :D

  4. Ha ha Allison, I thought I would give you something to ponder over...
    Jim: Yes,they are apparently a major source of protein.

  5. Considering some of the foods we humans eat, I shouldn't think this is gross...but, I still do! I think it's the squishy factor.

  6. i could probably try them - since they've been squeezed out, then sun dried. now if you made me eat it squishy - NO WAY!!!

  7. I'm going to pass on the worm dinner :).

  8. This is pretty interesting, but I am not sure if I would try them!

  9. thank you. But thank you anyway;))

    (Hope this isn't the stress and worry he smears on his toast;))))

  10. Such pretty worms and an interesting story.--Inger

  11. They really are pretty, but in no way stimulate my appetite.

  12. I'm the only one of our family that has not taken the plunge and partaken in Mopane Worm tasting during our summer trips to Zambia. I'm seldom a picky eater, but I draw the line with these. I've never actually seen them alive though! Doesn't make me want to change my mind and taste them next time.
    Glad to find your blog.


Hi,thank you for stopping by "A Little African Magic" and joining our adventures in South Africa. I do enjoy and appreciate to hear from each and every one of you!