Army Ants!!

phoenixxavierre

Arachnoprince
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Oct 9, 2002
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Hi all,

No, I don't have any army ants, sorry, lol!

But I did find this article that I wanted to pass on called "An Army on the March". This article deals with the Eciton genus of Central and South America.

Here goes:

""We live in Belizean village under development, surrounded by much vegetation. One morning at about nine o'clock, our home was invaded by an army. Ants came pouring under the door and through every crack, looking for prey. There was nothing we could do but vacate our home for an hour or two while the ants took over. When we returned, the house was completely clean of insects."

For many people living in tropical countries like Belize, this is a common occurrence and not entirely unwelcome. It is a way of ridding the house of pests such as roaches and other vermin. And it leaves no mess behind.

Interestingly, the ants spoken of here are called army ants because of their armylike life-style and activities. Instead of building nests, these nomadic armies, hundreds of thousands strong, make temporary bivouacs, masses of ants interlocking their legs to form a living curtain around the queen and her brood. From the bivouac, raiding parties are sent out in long columns to seek food, consisting of insects and small creatures, such as lizards. The leaders of the raiding party also execute what appear to be flanking movements to trap prey. This phenomenon occurs when, having no scent trail to follow, the leading workers hesitate and hold up the advance. The ants in the rear inexorably press forward, and bulging occurs in other parts of the front line, resulting in a series of advances that suggest flanking movements.

Army ants operate on a 36-day cycle, going on the march for some 16 days and then remaining stationary for 20 days, during which the queen lays her eggs. After that, hunger causes the colony to go on the march again. Their marching columns, some 30 feet wide, are edged by fleeing spiders, scorpions, beetles, frogs, and lizards and are followed by birds, which prey on these fugitives but apparently not on the ants."

Hope you enjoyed the article!

Best wishes,

Paul
 

Neo

Arachnosquire
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May 9, 2003
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Yea I found it a nice thing to read, surely brighten up my day.

Thanks

Neo
 

phoenixxavierre

Arachnoprince
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What I find interesting is the instinctive wisdom in such animals. How they instinctively know to do such things.

It also brought to mind collectors in Brazil. Would be pretty easy to capture various critters there. All you would have to do is follow the army ants around (at a safe distance) and capture the animals on the side.

However, the same collectors could have their personal collections hit in one fell swoop. I know what it's like to have ants infiltrate a collection and take out prized specimens. Ants aren't just a problem in central/south america. They are a problem here as well, just aren't as BIG of a problem.

Best wishes,

Paul

PS This post was not intended to brighten anyone's day, was merely posted it because I figured those who were interested in insects (ants are insects) might find it interesting. If my purpose for posting had been to brighten up anyone's day, I would have titled it "Rays of Sunshine, The Glorious Army Ants" ;P
 

jper26

Arachnobaron
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Apr 5, 2003
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Awesome article i always have loved ants i had alot of ant farms when I was a kid. I cant stand it when people step on ants either. Sometimes if i see some out i will feed them.
 

phoenixxavierre

Arachnoprince
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Originally posted by jper26
Awesome article i always have loved ants i had alot of ant farms when I was a kid. I cant stand it when people step on ants either. Sometimes if i see some out i will feed them.
That's cool, Jper!

When I grew up I used to feed the ants, too. Some of my first memories were of feeding, building forts for, and eating ants, lol! They didn't taste all that good. My granddad once showed me a picture from some war he was in, where people had thrown a guy into an army ant pit, quite graphic! I liked ants before that. After that I would wake up with my arms under me (they had fallen asleep with pins and needles) and I would think I was covered in ants!

Now here on the coast the sugar ants are bad! They get into anything left out. And they also live in the walls of houses here. They enjoy coming out at night and mobbing spiderlings. I must have lost about a dozen spiderlings to these guys since I've moved here. While ants are pretty neat, they can also be quite vicious! But then I imagine they're just doing what comes natural, self-preservation! I just wish they wouldn't come in through the walls and attack my stock! They hate water, so lately when I see them beginning to accumulate, I'll spray them with water and they retreat. I hope that solves the problem since I don't really want to kill them off. I just want them to stay out of my stuff!!

;)

Best wishes,

Paul

PS I'm glad they're just sugar ants and not army ants or fire ants though!! :eek:
 

jper26

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Apr 5, 2003
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I remember watching this true story about 3 years ago or so on tv. It was about this guy who was hunting in a deer stand high in a tree fell out and broke both of his legs. When he landed it was right near a fire ant hill the ants bit him up so bad. By the time help came he was bitten really bad with 2 broken legs poor guy.
 
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