Saturday, August 8, 2009
Slave raiding ants
The anthill is about two feet tall. It sits near a roadside in Ruckle Provincial Park. Three inch wide tracks radiate around it, cleared by hundreds of ants on the colony's business, which turns out to be more than gathering food.
The biggest ants here, the ones with the imposing jaws, are members of a species (Formica aserva or something similar)that raids other ants (also of genus Formica), carrying off pupae. When those pupae emerge, they join in the work of looking after the colony.
I saw at least two other kinds of ants in this colony.