Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 562 - Turf wars

I will warn you right now, if you don't like insects, this probably isn't a good day to read the blog. We've heard from many people this year that say the ants are the worst they have ever seen. Because of the dogs, I refuse to spray any kind of insecticide. We go through a lot of cinnamon, setting up barriers and it works really well for us.

Last year, about this time a colony of ants appeared out on our patio. They were fascinating to watch. We would set down a piece of large dog kibble and watch them move it sometimes as far as 24 inches and then work it down into a crack in the cement.

This morning, we noticed they were back.

When I ran the dogs at noon, activity around the ant crack caught my eye and on closer inspection, I realized that they had caught a much larger black ant. They were literally holding him captive by his legs.

He was a fighter though. His body twisted and turned as he reached out with his fangs to grab at the smaller ants. Several little bodies laid in his wake.

To look at him through my 100mm lens was something akin to watching a SciFi movie. Now I know where they get that stuff.

Part of me felt really sorry for the black ant, not sorry enough to help him though. In the end the little ants killed the big guy.

Before they were done, he had probably killed about 15 small ants. They left his body lay, but by the end of the afternoon, they had removed all of the bodies of their own.

The teamwork of these ants amazes me every time I watch them.


  1. Hi Y'all,

    What an interesting observation. Here in the low country if you don't get sprayed twice a year for fire ants, I couldn't even go outside safely.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  2. Now those are just some of the coolest shots I've seen! I would have been sitting there in total fascination!

  3. Amazing shots! You wonder what was accomplished here. They didn't take the big ant, and lost 15 of their own.

  4. Oh wow. This is awesome! Reminds me of the old programmes of the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet. Very good pictures, keep it up! :)

    Story telecom