The worker sinks her mandibles into my skin
August 3, 2018 11:58 AM   Subscribe

"Given how common fire ant stings are, I was surprised at how hard it was to find detailed videos of stinging behaviors... so I decided to see if I (Dr. Adrian Smith) could capture the details of fire ant stings and other behaviors on film."
posted by ChuraChura (10 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
So fire ants bite and sting? I was completely unaware and I kinda consider this bad news that's also interesting.
posted by alrightokay at 12:24 PM on August 3, 2018

I always assumed the were just biting me. No filming occurred because waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhOMFG I'M ON FIRE!!!!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:45 PM on August 3, 2018

The worker sinks her mandibles into my skin

Or else I get the hose again?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:52 PM on August 3, 2018 [7 favorites]

Because by the time you're being bitten, you're usually standing in a pile of them. And who the fuck is about to start filming then?

Little assholes. It's been so hot and dry for so long here that they were coming into my 2nd story apartment last week. The feeling of betrayal when you walk onto your carpet and all of a sudden OW OW OW...well, let's just say my reaction was Not Cute.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:03 PM on August 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

As much as I hate the Argentine ants that are farming aphids on my plants, can I just take a second and thank all that is holy that at the very least, those bastards keep these bastards away. Because as bad as they are, at least they don't sting. *shudders*
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 1:05 PM on August 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ooh. Have we talked ever talked about Coyote Peterson and his bug bite/sting videos? The anticipation of waiting for the insect shoved against his arm to actually sting is fun for the whole family!

(Bonus accidental injuries-by-cactus as well)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 3:04 PM on August 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Nice video. Had to watch with no sound, phone is acting up.

I am away for the weekend, I'll try to remember to upload some videos to this thread when I get back home next week.

My Solenopsis spp. colony has the first 10 workers, and I've been feeding them nectar and wingless fruit flies.

They are savage hunters. The flies are several sizes bigger than the ants, but as soon as one ant gets a grip on a leg the fly is done. I've watched battles that last over 20 minutes.

Only the 4th instar larvae of these ants can eat solid food. Adults can only eat particles a couple.of nanometers big. Once the adults finish sucking all the fluid out of the flies they take the remains back to the nest for the larvae to chew into a paste the adults can eat.

I sometimes try to imagine a world where only human children between the ages of 2 and 3 could chew solid food and the whole family used them as food processing.

For crazy ant weapons look at Crematogaster striatula. They are termite hunters that use airborne neuro toxins to kill their prey.

C. striatula has a flezible stinger attachment that allows it to aim it in any direction. When it finds a termite it aims the stinger and releases aerosolized venom. The venom also attracts other ants.

Termites could kill these ants on hand to hand combat, so they surround the termite, staying between 10 and 15 millimetres away at all times.

After 10 minutes the termite starts having seizures, leading to paralysis. At this point the ants move in for the kill.
posted by Dr. Curare at 9:14 PM on August 3, 2018 [10 favorites]

I would recommend that no one click on that Coyote Peterson link, unless you like watching people in pain, a lot of pain. If you like that sort of thing, it's possible you are a bad person.

I want a unicorn chaser now.
posted by el io at 9:44 PM on August 3, 2018

It's as if the Jackass guys became entomologists.
posted by thelonius at 5:44 AM on August 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

termite hunters that use airborne neuro toxins to kill their prey
posted by Dr. Curare

Epony-I feel like we're being trolled here.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:48 PM on August 4, 2018

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