Meanwhile, across the ocean…

Photographer/biologist Neil Losin sends us his video of African Driver Ants:

Driver ants (Dorylus) belong to the same general part of the ant family tree as the South American species we’ve been discussing this week, although both lineages are so old that they last shared an ancestor before plate tectonics tore the two continents apart.

Because Dorylus 1) are nomadic, 2) forage in groups, and 3) reproduce by colony fission, they are true army ants. What’s more, the immense colonies of some species positively dwarf those of their American counterparts. For sheer spectacle, Dorylus raids can’t be beat.

Thanks, Neil, for sharing!

4 thoughts on “Meanwhile, across the ocean…”

  1. I grew up in Uganda/Kenya and have been bitten many, many times by siafu. Jogging in the forest near our school you’d step in them without noticing and they would get on your shoes and a minute or so later you’d have to quickly pull your shoes and socks off to save yourself.

    Also, throughout my entire school aged life despite seeing them many, many times I had no idea that sausage flies were the sexually mature males of the same species. That’s one enormous ant.

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  3. That single 3-minute clip is better than entire documentaries on insects. The music was awesome too.

    I like how the major at 0:33 steped into the swarm and nearly got swept away like it was wading into a river.

  4. Nice video, but the biology is incorrect and overly dramatic…while it’s true that any creature caught in the path of driver ants will be eaten, this is a video of driver ants on the move, not driver ants ‘searching for animal prey’…note brood being transported…it’s not a “swarm raid, scouring the leaf litter for prey”.

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