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Archive for the ‘Ant News’ Category

Army ants have a reputation for annihilating everything in their path as they march through the jungle.

But the most complete study of its kind has found that army ants are creators of whole worlds, not destroyers.

More than 300 species, ranging from birds to tiny mites, depend in part on a single species of army ant for their survival, scientists have discovered.

That means army ants support a greater number of other life forms than any other known species. [Read full article]

BBC Earth News

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Interesting short video about ant taxonomy, behind the scenes at AntWeb and more..

Ants: The Invisible Majority

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‘Enter the alien and dangerous world of Northumbrian wood ants. Peter France takes an extraordinary journey across the seasons.’ Episode 1 on iPlayer here.

Details of episodes 2-5 here.

Each episode is only available for 7 days.

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Conservationists in Northumberland have used satellite technology to pinpoint 69 rare ants’ nests before work to fell thousands of trees begins.

The nests, made of conifer needles, are home to the hairy northern wood ant. (eta: Formica lugubris)

The Forestry Commission is removing 10,000 tonnes of conifer planted in the 20th Century to restore the area to its ancient roots as an oak wood.

Foresters will be provided with the nests’ GPS co-ordinates to ensure they do not damage them.

[Read full article] (includes a small video news report)

BBC New Online

Here’s the same story covered by the Forestry Commission.

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A National Trust property is being used as a test site for controlling the spread of an invasive ant across Europe.

A colony of 35,000 super ants was discovered in England for the first time in a fuse box at Hidcote Manor, Gloucestershire earlier this year.

The ants, that originate in Asia, are already a problem across central and western Europe and now it appears they are spreading north.

[Read full article]

Note: Despite the article suggesting ‘the ants are spreading across the country’, as far as I know the Hidcote colony is the only one yet confirmed as Lasius neglectus.

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Ants believed to have a “kamikaze attraction” to electricity have been discovered in one of England’s finest National Trust gardens.

Colonies of lasius neglectus, the so-called Asian super ant, have being found at Hidcote Manor, near Chipping Campden, in Gloucestershire.

It is thought to be the first recorded sighting in the UK, although they have been spotted in mainland Europe.

[Read full article]

BBC

See previous article ‘Ant invader knocks on UK’s door

ETA: Useful info on the species here.

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A single mega-colony of ants has colonised much of the world, scientists have discovered.

Argentine ants living in vast numbers across Europe, the US and Japan belong to the same inter-related colony, and will refuse to fight one another.

The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.

What’s more, people are unwittingly helping the mega-colony stick together.

Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) were once native to South America. But people have unintentionally introduced the ants to all continents except Antarctica.

[Read full article]

BBC – Earth News

Myrmecos Blog has further info about the ant and tips on how to identify it.

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