Tag Archives: ants

Electronic-Eating ‘Crazy Rasberry Ants’ (04/06)

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We used to think that giant radioactive insects would be the most terrifying intruder, but as it turns out the truth is more frightening than fiction (and the size of fleas). They are electronic-eating ‘crazy raspberry ants’ and they are making Texas their new home.

Billions of tiny reddish-brown ants have arrived onshore from a cargo ship and are hell-bent on eating anything electronic.

Computers, burglar alarm systems, gas and electricity meters, iPods, telephone exchanges – all are considered food by the flea-sized ants, for reasons that have left scientists baffled.

Having ruined pumps at a sewage facility, the ants are now marching towards Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre and William P. Hobby airport, Houston, putting state officials in a panic. “They’re itty-bitty things, and they’re just running everywhere,” said Patsy Morphew, a resident of Pearland, on the Gulf Coast.

Crazy is the the right word. The ants are known as “crazy rasberry ants”: crazy because they seem to move in a random scrum as opposed to marching in regimented lines, and rasberry after a pioneering exterminator, Tom Rasberry, who first identified them as a problem.

Unfortunately, the ants also like to suck the moisture from plants, feed on precious insects such as ladybirds and eat the hatchlings of a small, endangered type of grouse known as the Attwater prairie chicken. They also bite humans – although not with a sting like fire ants.

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Ants Keep Slaves (02/15)

Slavery was outlawed in 1865 with the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, but apparently ants did not get the memo.

An Ant Relishing Honey Dew

ant relishing honey dew from aphid

Ants will often farm (AKA keep them as slaves) and protect aphids. In return for their guard duty the ants relish the honey dew which is excreted by the aphids. The ants stroke the rear of the aphid with its antennae and this causes the honey due to be expelled. This is then eaten and regurgitated in the nest for the developing larvae and queen.

If that is not enough, here is a video for your enjoyment:

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