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what are these gals up to?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Offline justanotheramy - Posted April 7 2020 - 5:54 AM

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Video shared by another member of a local Adelaide, South Australia nature group on Facebook, who gave me permission to download and share here.

Original caption:

"Bloody ants don’t even care about social distancing.

But really, anyone know what is going on here? There were several groups of 4-8 ants doing the same thing."
 

https://youtu.be/0l47cZfGJvM

 

I'm assuming it's territorial battles?
We've had weather here the last week or so, windy with rain.


Edited by justanotheramy, April 7 2020 - 5:56 AM.

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#2 Offline NickAnter - Posted April 7 2020 - 7:29 AM

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Yep. They(meat ants aka Iridomyrmex purpureus) are doing their classic "boxing" to solve territorial disputes.


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Species being kept:

 

Solenopsis truncorum, Solenopsis "plebeius", Solenopsis validiuscula, Solenopsis sp., Solenopsis xyloni, Solenopsis amblychila, Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Pheidole navigans, Nylanderia vividula, Aphaenogaster occidentalis, Temnothorax rudis, Temnothorax cf. nitens, Pogonomyrmex californicus, and Strumigenys membranifera

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#3 Offline TheMicroPlanet - Posted April 7 2020 - 7:55 AM

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Which are the ants that just "box" and don't kill eachother for territory and which are the ants that rip each other apart for territory?


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#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 7 2020 - 8:24 AM

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Myrmecocystus do a ritualized combat. Tetramorium battle to the death. Those are two examples I know about.
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Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#5 Offline justanotheramy - Posted April 7 2020 - 8:30 PM

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I'm assuming that being a boxing ant has clear advantages if you meet another boxing nest, in that pretty much everyone lives; but disadvantage if you're facing a more ruthless opponent?



#6 Offline Serafine - Posted April 8 2020 - 1:57 AM

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I'm assuming that being a boxing ant has clear advantages if you meet another boxing nest, in that pretty much everyone lives; but disadvantage if you're facing a more ruthless opponent?

It's actually a disadvantage for both. Just because the defenders engage in ritualized combat doesn't mean they can't defend themselves, the ensuing battle will result in a tremedous bloodshed on both sides. Resources in the desert are scarse and even the vitorious colony might be not be able to recover it's losses before being attacked by another colony. Make no mistake though, if a colony realizes it's rival is much weaker its workers will be quick to attack in full force and plunder the enemy's honeypots - this ritualized boxing contest is mostly a measure to resolve disputes that aren't worth going all in and would probably result in a net loss even for the winning colony.

An even more extreme (and admittedly rather special) example of this are driver ants which when swarms meet will either immediately part ways or simply walk straight through each other - evolution has very quickly weeded out colonies that happened to attack each other (because usually none of those found themselves in a state capable of further survival after the dust had settled).

 

The reason certain ants (Lasius niger, Solenopsis invicta, etc.) happen to wipe out rival colonies so relentlessly is because for them it's usually fairly easy to recover their losses due to living in a far more resource-rich biome.


Edited by Serafine, April 8 2020 - 2:02 AM.

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#7 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted April 8 2020 - 4:08 AM

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When has Serafine not been right? 


There is a important time for everything, important place for everyone, an important person for everybody, and an important ant for each and every ant keeper and myrmecologist alike





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