Mexican Jumping Beans

Mexican jumping beans, Wee Warhols, Austin

So, we are on vacation and made a stop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We went in this little shop and were taken back with nostalgia.  So many little fun things we remember getting excited about as children.  We really racked up on cheap trinkets for the boys.  One of our finds were Mexican Jumping Beans.  They are so cool!  I had to read more about what these things are.  They come from the mountains in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa Mexico, Alamos, Mexico is actually known as the “jumping bean capital of the world.”  They are not really a bean, more of a section of a seed.  In the Spring the jumping bean moths ( Laspeyresia Saltitans ) emerge from last years beans and deposit the egg on the flowers of the host tree (Sebastian Pavoniana).  The egg burrows its way into the seed to grow. There are actually three beans in a pod, which breaks apart.  The egg turns into a larva which eats the soft heart of the seed.  By the time the big rains come in July, they have eaten all of the insides of the seed.  The jumping is a survival measure.  The larva is throwing itself from one side to the other.  So it doesn’t really ever jump, but it does jerk or roll in a seemingly perpetual motion.  I can attest that these little buggers have been clicking and clacking in there box ever since Santa Fe.  A five hour drive to Crested Butte, Co.  I had to put them in the living room when we got here, so they wouldn’t keep anyone awake at night.  They are jumping around as I type this.  The larva is searching for a cool place to survive.  The heat is their enemy.  It would dehydrate and kill them.  I am actually starting to feel really sorry for them.  I think these little clickers are growing on me the more I learn about them.  I may put them in the refrigerator butter compartment.  I read that you can keep them at 45 to 50 degrees fahrenheit.  Freezing will kill them instantly.  The boys have been having races with them and are quite amused by these “jumping beans”.  If you want to learn more about them, I would suggest you go to where I went for the info http://waynesword.palomar.edu/plaug97.htm

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on Jumping Beans.  I just read about them and passed along info.  I may have plagiarized a few words here in order to spread the jumping bean word.  And I think my almost five year old says “kick you in the butt” at the end of the Youtube video.  Sorry.

Mexican Jumping Beans, Wee Warhols, Austin
Let the games begin!
Mexican Jumping Beans, Wee Warhols, Austin
The heat really got them moving.

Mexican Jumping Beans, Wee Warhols, Austin Texas,
Mexican Jumping Beans

Leave a Reply