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So named as they drive everything out of their path
August 27, 2005 2:35 AM   Subscribe

Driver ants. Also known as siafu, the ants form colonies of up to 22 million individuals. When on the move, the workers travel in narrow ant highways which are surrounded by the larger soldier ants. Males are also known as sausage flies and are the largest ants found on earth.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs (14 comments total)

 
mmm, sausage.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:27 AM on August 27, 2005


yo, if a few thousand of these decided to swarm into my uncovered orifices, i'd be seriously annoyed.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 3:52 AM on August 27, 2005


Leiningen versus the Ants
posted by jcruelty at 4:25 AM on August 27, 2005


We had a swarm of army ants come through our camp 3 years ago in the hills west of Aquismon Mexico. It was a pretty exhilarating event. They stayed on the ground, though, and didn't climb the tents or tables, although the one unlucky guy who had left his tent open had them all over the floor of it. They were pretty uninterested in us, so long as we kept moving. They didn't much care for the campfire, either, and we had a decent "safe zone" around it. You couldn't just stand in the middle of them without getting bit, but fortunately, the swarm initially was only about 4 or 5 meters wide, and eventually consolidated down to a couple of fast-moving trails only 5 or 6 inches wide.

We watched with fascination as all the other insects ran from the tide. I recall a 4-legged spider, already missing all his limbs on one side, trying to pull himself sideways out of the swarm. Of course, he failed.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:28 AM on August 27, 2005


Good story, thanks, jcruelty!
posted by Drexen at 6:06 AM on August 27, 2005


Leningen is very good, and I thought of that story when I was reading the original post. It was one of my favorite stories in grade school. Thanks for posting the link!
posted by Malor at 7:07 AM on August 27, 2005


jcruelty -- I read that story when I was a child, and it was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the thread! Good find!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:52 AM on August 27, 2005


Holy jinx.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:52 AM on August 27, 2005


"Mymercologists (studiers of ants) estimate that up to a third of the planet's animal weight is made up from ants."

Holy shit.
posted by danb at 8:28 AM on August 27, 2005


Everything I know about ANTS! I learned from the SimAnt game manual. Which, actually, is quite a lot. (Or entirely negligible, depending upon one's perspective.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:18 AM on August 27, 2005


There is a totally excellent documentary, The Hellstrom Chronicle, that culminates with a driver ant attack. Watch as a happy iguana up in a bush is overrun by ants, smothered, killed, and then carried away by the ants. Incredible. Alas, it's very hard to find (and only on VHS).
posted by Aknaton at 11:19 AM on August 27, 2005


Nice post. Thanks.
posted by dazed_one at 11:36 AM on August 27, 2005


MARABUNTA! .......................................................................................................................
...........................................................................................................................................
............................................................................................... (Leiningen, the movie)
.
posted by cenoxo at 12:26 PM on August 27, 2005


And dare we mention...

TERROR!
HORROR!
EXCITEMENT!
MYSTERY!

posted by cenoxo at 12:49 PM on August 27, 2005


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