Mark your calendars! Army Ant Week swarms in February 6-12

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Eciton burchellii
Eciton burchellii

We here at Myrmecos have decided to devote the week of February 6 to a celebration of army ants.

Yes, you heard that right. Army ants. Hormigas legionarias. The predatory scourge of tropical forests. Six-legged swarms of carnivorous destruction*.

In summary:

Army Ant Week
– Myrmecos Blog –
February 6-12 2011

What is the occasion? I have returned from beautiful Ecuador with an abundance of photos of these amazing insects, particularly of the giant army ants in the genus Eciton, but also of Labidus and Neivamyrmex. Rather than leak the new photographs out slowly over the coming months, it’ll be more fun to concentrate them into single intense week. They’ll be accompanied by posts on biology, recent scientific discoveries, and other army ant tidbits.

So stay tuned. And if you have your own army ant stories or videos to share, let me know and we’ll see about opening up some guest posting slots.

*I’ve probably been watching too much Animal Planet.

19 thoughts on “Mark your calendars! Army Ant Week swarms in February 6-12”

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    1. Of course, any contribution you might have to Army Ant Week will be greatly appreciated, Gordon.

      BTW, I have a few ants to send to you. I’m particularly interested in the ID of a tiny Neivamyrmex that was raiding Linepithema neotropicum.

  2. Gordon C. Snelling

    Cool, will do my best to contribute something useful. Looking forward to seeing them, although might be best to send to my work address rather than LACM due to the difficulty I have in getting in to pick stuff up due to my work schedule.

  3. Just checked out Rettenmeyer’s PhD dissertation through Illiad again. It’s 700 pages of awesome information and weighs about 10 pounds. Get any pictures of the army ant mites?

    1. During my 2003 visit I was practically tripping over Simopelta. This visit? Not a one.

      In fairness, I didn’t visit the same sites. But still. We spent a week in the west slope cloud forests, enough that I would have expected to find them at least once.

  4. Even sociologists are interested in them:

    In 1988 there were protests against raising charges in public transportation in guatemala, and violent street gangs also took part in the protests, now known under the name “maras” or “pandillas”. According to my sister Anika, the police started to call these youth gangs maras. Apparently at that time a trashy brazilian movie was out named “marabunta”, and it is suggested that the name “mara” for street gangs originated in this cultural context. “marabunta” in the movies itself of course has a long history, from the 1954 “The naked Jungle” with Charlton Heston to “Legion of fire: Killer ants” (alternative title “Marabunta”) from 1998.

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