|This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor
He had thrown to the forest floor a portion of the slain tarsk. I watched the black, segmented
bodies of some fifteen or twenty ants, some two hundred yards in advance of the column,
approach the meat. Their antennae were lifted. They had seemed tense, excited. They were
some two inches in length. Their bite, and that of their fellows, is vicious and extremely painful,
but it is not poisonous. There is no quick death for those who fail to escape the column. Several
of these ants then formed a circle, their heads together, their antennae, quivering, touching one
another. Then, almost instantly, the circle broke and they rushed back to the column.
“Watch,” had said the small man.
To my horror I had then seen the column turn toward the piece of tarsk flesh.
We had further encouraged the column during the day with additional blood and flesh, taken
from further kills made by the small men with their nets and spears.
I looked up at the stockade. I remembered it, for it was the same from which we had, earlier,
slipped away in the darkness of the night.
I rubbed tarsk blood on the palings. Behind me I could hear, yards away, a rustling.
“We will wait for you in the jungle,” said the leader of the little men.
“Very well,” I said.
The rustling was now nearer. Those inside the stockade, given their music and dancing, would
not hear it. I stepped back. I saw the column, like a narrow black curtain, dark in the moonlight,
ascend the palings.
Inside the stockade, given the feast of the village, the column would widen, spreading to cover
in its crowded millions every square inch of earth, scouring each stick, each piece of straw,
hunting for each drop of grease, for each flake of flesh, even if it be no more than what might
adhere to the shed hair of a hut urt.
When I heard the first scream I hurled my rope to the top of the stockade, catching one of the
palings in its noose.
I heard a man cry out with pain.
I scrambled over the stockade wall. A woman, not even seeming to see me, crying out with pain,
fled past me. She held a child in her arms.
There was now a horrified shouting in the camp. I saw torches being thrust to the ground. Men
were irrationally thrusting at the ground with spears. Others tore palm leaves from the roofs of
huts, striking about them.
I hoped there were no tethered animals in the camp. Between two huts I saw a man rolling on
the ground in frenzied pain.
I felt a sharp painful bite at my foot. More ants poured over the palings. Now, near the rear wall
and spreading toward the center of the village, it seemed there was a growing, lengthening,
rustling, living carpet of insects. I slapped my arm and ran toward the hut in which originally, our
party had been housed in this village. With my foot I broke through the sticks at its back.
“Tarl!” cried Kisu, bound. I slashed his bonds. I freed, too, Ayari, and Alice and Tende.
Men and women, and children, ran past the doorway of the hut.
There was much screaming.
“Ants!” cried Ayari. Explorers of Gor, page 401-402
We sat about the small fire, some half pasang inland from the river, in the rain forest.
A great spined anteater, more than twenty feet in length, shuffled about the edges of the camp.
We saw its long, thin tongue dart in and out of its mouth.
The blond-haired barbarian crept closer to me.
startled occupants, drawing thousands in a matter of moments into its narrow, tubelike mouth.
She drew a bit further away, trembling. She was a naked woman, and a slave, on the barbaric planet of Gor. Perhaps she did not
relish being dependent on men, and their protection, for her very life, but she was, and she knew it. Explorers of Gor, page 293
Black Sand Flies
I permitted nomad children to discomfit her. They are fiendish little beggars. They tickled her with the lanceolate leaves of the tree.
They put honey about her, to attract the tiny black sand flies, which infest such water holes in the spring. When we would break
camp, I would lift her to the kurdah, placing her within. Tribesmen of Gor, page 81
When rain does fall, however, sometimes it is fierce, turning the terrain into a quagmire. Following such rains great clouds of sand
flies appear wakened from dormancy. These feast on kaiila and men. Normally, flying insects are found only in the vicinity of the
oases. Crawling insects of various sorts, and predator insects, however, are found in many areas, even far from water. The zadit is
a small, tawny-feathered, sharp-billed bird. It feeds on insects. When sand files and other insects, emergent after rains, infest kaiila,
they frequently alight on the animals, and remain on them for some hours, hunting insects. This relieves the kaiila of the insects but
leaves it with numerous small wounds, which are unpleasant and irritating, where the bird has dug insects out of it's hide. These
tiny wounds, if they become infected, turn into sores; these sores are treated by the drovers with poultices of kaiila dung.
Tribesmen of Gor, page 152
“Oh!” cried the girl, startled. A grasshopper, red, the size of a horned gim, a small, owl like bird, some four ounces in weight,
common in the northern latitudes, had leaped near the fire, and disappeared into the brush. Explorers of Gor, page 293
In the camp he had been known by the manes of Hala and Owopte. 'Hala' is Kailla for the Gorean
page hinti, which are small, active insects. They resemble fleas but are not parasitic. Blood Brothers of Gor, page 219- 220
Later he forced another leech into my mouth and waited until I had eaten it. He then took the remaining leeches and, with a shiver
of disgust, with two hands, hurled them out from the bar, into the water. Vagabonds of Gor, page 102
I saw now that the sound was the sound of millions upon millions of tiny feet, treading upon the leaves and fallen debris of the
jungle floor. Too, there may have been, mixed in that sound, the almost infinitesimal sound, audible only in its cumulative effect, of
the rubbings and clickings of the joints of tiny limbs and the shiftings and adjustments of tiny, black, shiny exoskeletons, those stiff
casings of the segments of their tiny bodies.
“Do not go too close,” said the leader of the small men.
The column of the marchers was something like a yard wide. I did not know how long it might be. It extended ahead through the
jungle and behind through the jungle farther than I could see in either direction. Such columns can be pasangs in length. It is
difficult to conjecture the numbers that constitute such a march. Conservatively some dozens of millions might be involved. The
column widens only when food is found; then it may spread as widely as five hundred feet in width. Do not try to wade through such
a flood. The torrent of hurrying feeders leaves little but bones in its path.
“Let us go toward the head of the column,” said the little man.
We trekked through the jungle for several hours, keeping parallel to the long column. Once we crossed a small stream. The
marchers, forming living bridges of their own bodies, clinging and scrambling on one another, crossed it also. They, rustling and
black, moved over fallen trees and about rocks and palms. They seemed tireless and relentless. Flankers marshaled the column.
Through the green rain forest the column moved, like a governed, endless, whispering black snake.
“Do they march at night?” I asked,
“Often,” said the small man. “One must be careful where one sleeps.”
We had then advanced beyond the head of the column by some four hundred yards.
“It is going to rain,” I said. “Will that stop them?”
“For a time,” he said. “They will scatter and seek shelter, beneath leaves and twigs, under the debris of the forest, and then,
summoned by their leaders, they will reform and again take up the march.”
Scarcely had he spoken but the skies opened up and, from the midst of the black, swirling clouds, while lightning cracked and
shattered across the sky and branches lashed back and forth wildly in the wind, the driven, darkly silver sheets of a tropical rain
storm descended upon us.
“Do they hunt?” I shouted to the small man.
“Not really,” he said. “They forage.”
“Can the column be guided?” I asked.
“Yes,” he grinned, rubbing the side of his nose. Then he and the others curled up to sleep. I looked up at the sky, at the sheets of
rain, the lashing branches. Seldom had I been so pleased to be caught in such a storm. Explorers of Gor, page 400-401
I was told by Kamchak that once an army of a thousand wagons turned aside because a swarm of rennels, poisonous, crablike
desert insects, did not defend its broken nest, crushed by the wheel of the lead wagon. Nomads of Gor, page 27
"You see," said the proprietor. "You will come to like the frevets," We watched a large, oblong, flat-bodied black object, about a half
hort in length, with long feelers, hurry toward the crack at the base of the wall. "That is a roach." He said.
"They are harmless, not like the gitches whose bites are rather painful. Some of them are big fellows, too. But there aren't many of
them around. The frevets see to it. Achiates prides himself on a clean house." Mercenaries of Gor, page 276-277
This afternoon, late, when we had come inland, almost in the dusk, she had become entangled in the web of a rock spider, a large
one. They are called rock spiders because of their habit of holding their legs folded beneath them. This habit, and their size and
coloration, usually brown and black, suggests a rock, and hence the name. It is a very nice piece of natural camouflage. A thin line
runs from the web to the spider. When something strikes the web the tremor is transmitted by means of this line to the spider.
Interestingly the movement of the web in the air, as it is stirred by wind, does not activate the spider; similarly if the prey which
strikes the web is too small, and thus not worth showing itself for, or too large, and thus beyond its prey range, and perhaps
dangerous, it does not reveal itself. On the other hand, should a bird, such as a mindar or parrot, or a small animal, such as a leaf
urt or tiny tarsk, become entangled in the net the spider swiftly emerges. It is fully capable of taking such prey. When the blond-
haired barbarian stumbled into the web, screaming, trying to tear it away from her face and hair, the spider did not even reveal
itself. I pulled her away from the net and slapped her to silence. Curious, as she, sobbing, cleaned herself with leaves and saliva, I
located the gentle, swaying strand which marked the location of the spider. It, immobile on the ground, was about a foot in
diameter. It did not move until I nudged it with a stick, and it then backed rapidly away. Explorers of Gor, page 294
I went to the edge of the depression. There, a few feet below me, suspended in a gigantic web, was Janice. One of her legs was
through the web, and an arm. It was not simply the adhesiveness of the web´s strands which prevented her from freeing herself
but, also, its swaying and elasticity, sinking beneath her as she tried to press against it.
“Master!” screamed Janice.
I looked down. The web was now trembling. Approaching her now, moving swiftly across the web, was a gigantic rock spider. It was
globular, hairy, brown and black, some eight feet in thickness. It had pearly eyes and black, side-hinged jaws.
Janice threw back her head and screamed with misery. I slid down the side of the depression to the edge of the net. I drew back
the spear I carried. I flung it head-on into the spider. It penetrated its body and slid almost through. It reached up with its two
forelegs and drew it out. It then turned toward me. As soon as it had turned in my direction, away from the girl, the small men,
howling and shrieking, began to hurl their small spears into its body. It stood puzzled on the web. I scrambled about the side of the
depression, slipping once, and retrieved the spear. It was wet with the viscous body fluids of the arachnid. It turned again and I,
slashing with the spear blade, cut loose a jointed segment of its leg. It charged and I thrust the spear blade into its face. Some of
the small men then hurried about the depression striking at the beast with palm leaves, distracting it, infuriating it. As it turned
toward them I cut another segment of one of its rear legs from it. It then, unsteadily, again moved toward me. I slipped to the side
and cut at the juncture of its cephalo-thorax and abdomen. It began to exude fluid. It retreated sideways from me. It turned
erratically. The side-hinged jaws opened and shut. A strand of webbing from one of its abdominal glands began to emerge
meaninglessly. I then, as it dragged itself backward on the web, cut away at its head. the small men then flooded past me,
clambering on the web itself, and began to crawl upon the beast with their knives, cutting it to pieces. I went then to the height of
the depression, the spear in hand, the fluids of the beast drying upon it. Janice lay naked, trembling, in the web. The great arachnid
now lay on its back, the small men swarming over it. Some stood to their knees in its body. I cleaned the shaft and blade of the
spear with moist leaves. When I returned the small men had rolled the carcass of the beast to one side. It reposed there, gigantic
and globular, in the fashion of the rock spider, its legs tucked beneath it. The small men then stood again about the upper edge of
the depression. Explorers of Gor, page 290-391
Sting or Needle Fly
“Ai!” cried a fellow, suddenly, in pain.
“It is a needle fly,” said a fellow.
“There is another,” said a man.
“And another,” said another.
Most sting flies, or needle flies, as the men from the south call them, originate in the delta, and similar places, estuaries and such, as
their eggs are laid on the stems of rence plants. As a result of the regularity of breeding and incubation times there tends, also, to
be peak times for hatching. These peak times are also in part, it is thought, a function of a combination of natural factors, having to
do with conditions in the delta, such as temperature and humidity, and, in particular, the relative stability of such conditions. Such
hatching times, as might be supposed, are carefully monitored by rencers. Once outside the delta the sting flies, which spend most
of their adult lives as solitary insects, tend to disperse. Of the millions of sting flies hatched in the delta each summer, usually over a
period of four or five days, a few return each fall, to begin the cycle again. Vagabonds of Gor, page 161
I detected the odor of kort rinds, matted, drying, on the stones, where they had been scattered from my supper the evening before.
Vints, insects, tiny, sand-colored, covered them: On the same rinds, taking and eating vints, were two small cell spiders. Tribesmen
of Gor, page 115
The animals were unhooded, we mounted, and again our quest continued.
It was only a day later that the flies appeared. I had thought, first, it was another storm. It was not. The sun itself, for more than
four Ehn, was darkened, as the great clouds moved over us. Suddenly, like darting, black, dry rain, the insects swarmed about us. I
spit them from my mouth. I heard Alyena scream. The main swarms had passed but, clinging about us, like crawling spots on our
garments, and in and among the hairs of the kaiila, in their thousands, crept the residue of the infestation. I struck at them, and
crushed them, until I realized the foolishness of doing so. In less than four Ahn, twittering, fluttering, small, tawny, sharp-billed,
following the black clouds, came flights of zadits. We dismounted and led the kaiila, and let the birds hunt them for flies. The zadits
remained with us for more than two days. Then they departed. Tribesmen of Gor, page 175
It was late in the afternoon, the fourteenth Gorean Ahn I would have guessed. Some swarms of insects hung in the sedge here and
there but I had not been much bothered: it was late in the year, and most of the Gorean insects likely to make life miserable for men
bred in, and frequented, areas in which bodies of unmoving, fresh water were plentiful. I did see a large, harmless zarlit fly, purple,
about two feet long with four translucent wings, spanning about a yard, humming over the surface of the water then alighting and,
on it’s pad like feet, daintily picking its way across the surface. I flicked a salt leach from the side of my light craft with the corner of
the tem-wood paddle. Raiders of Gor, page 5
“Look out!” cried a man, suddenly. I heard a humming nearby. It was the sound of large wings, moving rapidly.
“It is only a zarlit fly,” said another.
The zarlit fly is very large, about two feet long, with four large, translucent wings, with a span of about a yard. It has large, padlike
feet on which, when it alights, it can rest on the water, or pick its way delicately across the surface. Most of them are purple. Their
appearance is rather formidable, and can give one a nasty turn in the delta, but, happily, one soon learns they are harmless, at
least to humans. Some of the fellows of Ar were still uneasy when they were in the vicinity. The zarlit fly preys on small insects,
usually taken in flight. Vagabonds of Gor, page 160