Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Them!

Aggressive formica ants...
Beware of mandibles!
Them! is the cinema classic that started the whole 'giant mutant bugs' trend in the 1950s. It's the tale of giant ants that threaten a small New Mexico community.

While these ants aren't gigantic, they are very nearly as scary to me because they can deliver a pretty good bite. I discovered them outside my backyard shed. In the process of sweeping them away with my feet, a few managed to climb up to my arms.

I didn't give it much thought until I felt a startling pinch.

I had never encountered such aggressive ants before in BC in all my decades here. A helpful expert with the municipality identified them as formica ants.

From the website insectidentification.org:
This group of ants do not sting, but they can bite using strong mouth parts. They also spray formic acid from the tips of their abdomens at predators or perceived threats like human fingers. The formic acid can cause mild to severe irritation depending on the proximity of the target.

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