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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:54 am 
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Location: Where hippos, crocs and sharks meet ...
Some sort of flying ant, maybe?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:28 am 
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Yes SC!

Look here are some more!

Image 2

They are huddled around a hole in the ground.

Have a close look. See the difference with the first one? Look around them. What do you see?

Any further ideas? What is this and what is happening here?


Image 3

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Last edited by Imberbe on Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:41 am 
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Looks a bit like what we called a hornet as kids - but I would want to look it up and books are too heavy to bring on a walk.....

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:50 am 
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Looks like they giving 'birth' to live 'ants/flying ants' :?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Location: Where hippos, crocs and sharks meet ...
In the first pic, the ant is more a "butter" yellow ... the others are reddish brown - why?

Could they be raiding another nest? Or relocating their own young, piggy back style? :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:12 pm 
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Lets make it even more interesting ...

Look here.

Image 4

I see some "white" ants.

Image 5

And I see some "black" ants.

Image 6

And keep in mind that we are standing quite near to this:

Image 7

:D

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Last edited by Imberbe on Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:16 pm 
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Location: Marloth Park, South Africa
Termites :?


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:35 pm 
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All the times I have seen a termites mound I've not thought about the occupants :redface: .......other than some sort of ant,so I am very interested

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:07 pm 
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OK, now that I have everyone interested and yet confused ... here is the story.

These interesting insects is called African Thief Ants.

They are not wasps nor termites.

These insects do however live inside termite mounds! And this is where they get their name from. Their nest is inside the walls of the termite mound. They create small tunnels within the termite mound in which they move. From here they raid the mound for termite eggs and young.

The workers (white ants seen in photo 5) is only approx. 2mm long. Since they are so small, the termites cannot follow them in to their tunnels.

The dark insects seen in photo 2, 3 and 4 are queens that are being released from the nest. The first insect in photo 1 is a male. These insects are released from the nest after the first heavy rains in summer. They fly away to start new nests. Some workers actually get on to the queens (see photo 3) and accompany them to start the new nest.

But this is not all that is happening here! We are actually watching a major battle!

The small black ants are attacking the Thief Ants. The small workers are protecting the queens, and pouring out of the nest in their thousands. But the black ants are attacking them, and preying on them. (See photo 6.) It is clear that the black ants are beating them, but the shear numbers of Thief Ants are keeping the queens save.
8)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:44 am 
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Really interesting! Thanks, Imberbe. There is so much to learn about the little things around us....

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:15 am 
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Thanks, Imberbe. That is why I enjoy this Forum. Always learning and seeing something new.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:07 pm 
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Fascinating info, thanks Imberbe :D


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:11 am 
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Wow! Isn't nature wonderful! Thanks, Imberbe! :D

Could you please, please tell us more about termites? I'm fascinated by them.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:35 am 
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Location: Where hippos, crocs and sharks meet ...
Nature never seizes to amaze me :) This walk is not just entertaining - it's enriching!

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:16 am 
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Imberbe wrote:
...
The workers (white ants seen in photo 5) is only approx. 2mm long. Since they are so small, the termites cannot follow them in to their tunnels...


Hmm... That is really smart, isn't nature incredible!

Imberbe wrote:
...
The dark insects seen in photo 2, 3 and 4 are queens that are being released from the nest. The first insect in photo 1 is a male. These insects are released from the nest after the first heavy rains in summer. They fly away to start new nests. Some workers actually get on to the queens (see photo 3) and accompany them to start the new nest...

8)


Oh so you mean they wern't giving birth to live 'young' :lol: That was really interesting thank you :D I'm glad you added photos too :clap:

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