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 Post subject: Insect: Flying Ants
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:36 pm 
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
I'm just doing some research for my FGASA course right now and a question i'm stuck on is 'what do people mean when they refer to flying ants'. I feel completely silly asking this, but I can't find anything anywhere!

I'm obviously very familiar with flying ants- the ones that swarm the Johannesburg sky after rains. The ones you often have to sweep up with a broom the next day. I'm sure they're actually termites, but i'm looking for a specific species.

The closest I can get is Odontotermes badius, but that's only from a photo in my insect book (Picker/Weaving).

Can someone help me out here?


 Post subject: Re: 'Flying Ants'
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:08 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Durban, South Africa
Please don't laugh (I'm not blond - perhaps my answer is??) :tongue:

I think it could be that people mean 'termite alates' when they refer to flying ants.

{It simply means that termites do not usually have wings, as they live in colonies in the soil, but when conditions are favourable they 'grow' these extentions in order to undertake a brief 'nuptial' flight - thereby starting up new colonies....}

"The most common species in the genus, especially in KZN and Northern Province, where it occurs in open bushveld and grassland = Large Fungus-growing Termite (Macrotermes natalensis)"
- according to the 2004 Updated Field Guide to Insects of South Africa.

"To be playing a part, no matter how small, in the conservation of our dwindling wildlife is an experience I shall always cherish." - Stuart Hilcove


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