Wednesday, July 19, 2006


A busy July afternoon

I had the chance ot spend a half hour in the back yard observing things yesterday, and it was an amazingly busy place.
There was an attack by red ants on a nest of black ants. I first saw the red ants swarming towards the black ant colony under my maple tree. I hadn't previously known about the black ants in that location, as they never built any kind of hill. But the red ants were aware of it. Thousands of them swooped through my pond area and descended upon the black ant holes, removing lots of black ant eggs. Some even pulled the black queen out, but she escaped. Only 20 minutes later, the red ants were nowhere to be seen, having taken their plunder back home. I followed the victorious ants to their home in a neighbor's back yard, where I saw them bringing the eggs into their holes. Interestingly enough, there were lots of black ants outside of the red ant colony, tending the holes and removing grass and doing other chores. These, I suppose, are slaves, eggs garnered from previous raids on the ants in my yard.
As the third picture attests, not all the red ants escaped unscathed. Some, like that fellow, fell into the pond and were gobbled up by goldfish, or in this case, eaten by a water strider.

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