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The ants are coming – or is that going..?

By astrojax - 22 December 2008 28

Yesterday early evening, out picking apricots from our tree by the driveway, i noticed a flurry of movement by a couple of ants nests beside our front path and, on closer examination, saw a mutlitude of winged bullants scurrying about and then taking flight – it was all over in minutes, some several hundred of these little beasties must have gone off into the sunset (yes, they did indeed head towards the west, agains the prevailing wind), so if you live west of dickson: look out!

anyone else notice the ants on the move yesterday, or have any explanation for a biology-deficient rioter as to this behaviour?  will my nests now be a little less frenetic?   (sorry i don’t have pics – the things just zoomed – and i was too rapt!)

What’s Your opinion?


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28 Responses to
The ants are coming – or is that going..?
Granny 9:20 am 23 Dec 08

The gullible ingenue who is an idiot in me says, “Wow! That’s amazing! You may have even discovered a new mutant species,” and the bitter and crusty skeptic wannabe says, “Do you have photographic evidence for this, BerraBoy68, ’cause I sure might look silly for believing you!”

BerraBoy68 9:11 am 23 Dec 08

Speaking of ants, I think I saw their leader the other night.

Getting back in the car after looking at Xmas lights on Sunday night, my son says, “what’s that on the car”. I take a look thinking it’s just a leaf and was staggered to see it was an ant about 3-4cm’s long, black and thick as my litle finger. It was much bigger than a bullant and it wasn’t a fire-ant. Biggest sucker I’ve ever seen.

ant 9:09 am 23 Dec 08

Depending on what happens for the rest of the day, there might be some more storm-action this arvo when the trough line moves through. Depends on air moisture levels, and warming.

peterh 9:06 am 23 Dec 08

Madman said :

Well it’s raining today so that would kind of explain it!

fairly certain that any winged or otherwise large ants did not enjoy the downpour. shame that the lightning was obscured by the heavy rain, will have to set the tripod up for some shots next storm….

Granny 8:54 am 23 Dec 08

Now what am I going to wear to my daughter’s 26th birthday instead of that cute little blue dress??

Damn you, ants!! Damn you all!

Madman 8:52 am 23 Dec 08

Well it’s raining today so that would kind of explain it!

BerraBoy68 8:32 am 23 Dec 08

bigfeet said :

Obviously the ants are taking more of an interest in what is going on around than you have:

There’s no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.

ROFLAO!

Granny 11:12 pm 22 Dec 08

So long and thanks for all the crumbs ….

*chuckle*

bigfeet 10:53 pm 22 Dec 08

Obviously the ants are taking more of an interest in what is going on around than you have:

There’s no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.

RuffnReady 10:47 pm 22 Dec 08

Interesting. I saw this once as a kid and thought I was seeing things.

“Flying Ant Day or Flant Day is an informal term for a day on which queen ants emerge from the nest to begin their nuptial flight. In most species, the male ants also fly alongside them, although they are smaller and less noticeable. The queens fly for a while – sometimes being dispersed very long distances, and sometimes going only a few meters – then mate, and drop to the ground where they lose their wings, and attempt to start a colony.

The mass of flying insects often attracts the attention of predators such as birds, and it is common to see flocks of feeding birds gorging on the readily available food.

This phenomenon occurs in many colonies simultaneously when the local weather conditions are appropriate, to reduce the effectiveness of predation and to ensure that the queens and males from different colonies stand a chance of meeting and interbreeding. It therefore has the appearance of being a ‘timed’ event or that the ants somehow communicate. However neither of these is likely to be the case – it is simply a common response to temperature, humidity and windspeed.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_ant_day

Fascinating.

Danman 9:53 pm 22 Dec 08

I saw there huge ants doing exactly that – it was like a nature program – they all came out of their nest and then flew west – at around 1700hrs….. Was cool to watch.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 9:44 pm 22 Dec 08

Nothing a can of WD40 and a lighter won’t fix…

bubzie 8:30 pm 22 Dec 08

We have a fair few of them too..

…which the cat can eat. I’m not fussed.

Felix the Cat 7:38 pm 22 Dec 08

I noticed the ants seemed busy yesterday too – mainly the regular small black ones but a few bullants too. No idea why.

Vic Bitterman 7:29 pm 22 Dec 08

Same here! Last night I noticed heaps of activity in the railway sleeper steps in our backyard, their entrance to the nest is the hole that a spike used to go through. Although this time I didn’t see any winged ants, I did last year and it was an amazing spectacle that only lasted 20 minutes or so, watching them take flight.

Tonight, they are again congregating around their entrance in huge numbers, but I haven’t seen any winged ones.

Our ants aren’t bullants though, they may be large in size but they have really tiny nippers and I’m not worried by them at all.

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