Friday, July 2, 2010

Oh, It's Just an Ant... Hey! What th'! Gaaaack!
Last week,
Purdue entomologists were, it seemed, a little unnerved to find that, in an urban environment, ants will form colonies thousands of times larger than they do when they live in a forest. They pointed out that ant colonies, made up of millions of individuals, unobtrusive by themselves, should really be thought of as one, big animal. Now this:
New research reveals the ambush strategy Azteca andreae captured here (oh I can't get the damn photo to show up completely the email. Less dramatically, here is the link which shows 8350 worker ants who, in early morning and then again in late evening, hide with their mandibles open, side-by-side on the shaggy underside of their Cecropia obtusaant host's leaf margins - the leaves' loop-shaped hair anchoring the ants' hook-shaped claws, Hanging on and "waiting for insects to alight," says the rather poetic report.

Everybody was probably made pretty introspective by what the ants did next - see video Really rather horrible what with the cicadas whirring and French Guiana dripping all over the place, a lot of tussle. It took hours they said, with the moth still struggling a little in the morning (see photo A). Bakersfield is surely next.

Well then! So! Have a happy holiday. Liz

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