Empires of the Undergrowth Forum

Empires of the Undergrowth Boards => Off Topic => Topic started by: Ensiege on December 18, 2017, 06:13:35 AM

Title: Ant Wars
Post by: Ensiege on December 18, 2017, 06:13:35 AM
I would love to keep ants like so many of you guys. 

As a kid I spent hours in my back yard playing with ants...  I don't know what kind they were, (Philadelphia, PA, USA) but they were small black ants (pavement ants?) and very tiny red ants. (thief ants or pharaoh ants, I don't know the difference and wikipedia says both are found in this area) I used to leave a trail of potato chip crumbs between two anthills and watch them meticulously work away at the food, then collide and scramble into a fight.  Black ants would fight black ants.  Black ants would fight red ants.  The tiny red ants had some impressive looking soldiers (I assume) that were really only about as big as the black ant workers.

Has anyone else ever done this as a kid?

I remember a few years ago when visiting my parents I went out to their backyard and placed a few chips around.  There were no more red ants, and the entire yard seemed to have been taken over by a large, single black pavement ant colony. (they all got along)

Would love to keep a colony of those tiny red ants.  As a kid I always thought they were just baby ants that didn't have a chance to grow, (which I felt I shared the blame with that, always pitting the ants against each other) and always rooted for them.  But by the end of the day, the black ants were always the clear victor.

I saw that same interest spark in my daughter when she yelled for me to, "COME LOOK AT THIS!" when she found a war between pavement ants, and she stared at it in amazement when I told her what was happening.

So come on, who else did this?  Who else staged ant wars?
Title: Re: Ant Wars
Post by: Rayalot72 on December 18, 2017, 07:04:02 AM
I was never clever enough to think to do so.  I may do it in the future though, at some point *cough*
Title: Re: Ant Wars
Post by: Raptorofwar on December 18, 2017, 04:16:52 PM
Ant wars are bad for colonies, so I wouldn't do this out of concern for the well-being of the ants.

Would be cool, though.
Title: Re: Ant Wars
Post by: Serafine on December 18, 2017, 06:22:59 PM
There's a lot of species that do ant wars against other ants (and their own kind), especially during the spring (Tetramorium sp, Formica rufa, Lasius niger, Pheidole sp, Solenopsis invicta, Argentines, some Camponotus species, etc.).
It's pretty normal for them and usually losses can be replaced quickly.
Title: Re: Ant Wars
Post by: Redmoth27 on December 18, 2017, 10:53:18 PM
Serafine do bull ants have wars?
Title: Re: Ant Wars
Post by: Serafine on December 18, 2017, 11:52:37 PM
Bull ant colonies usually aren't big enough to have proper ant wars (most Myrmecia species top out at a few hundred workers or even lower), also they hunt alone, not in packs.
What they usually do is plugging the nest entrances of competing ant colonies in their area with debris and garbage (other species as well as their own species).