I promised myself I’d refrain from political postings for a while. But when ants are involved and passions rise, how can I abstain?
The Your Wildlife/School of Ants crew has been soliciting suggestions for a new common name for Forelius pruinosus, one of North America’s most abundant ants. They have finally distilled the entries to four finalists:
Barricade Ant – Forelius pruinosus use chemical defenses and elaborate teamwork to barricade the colony openings of ants four times larger than themselves during foraging.
Blockade Ant – F. pruinosus does not allow other ants to leave their nests if they’ve found something delicious nearby; they surround their competitors’ nest and shoot chemicals out of their butts!
High-Noon Ant – F. pruinosus have been described as thermophilic, or heat-loving, and are typically the only ants actively foraging at noon when the sun is at its highest. This is one of the best ways for ant scientists to collect them – go out at the hottest part of the day and you’ll even be likely to find a F. pruinosus!
Highway Ant – F. pruinosus forms thick trails as they forage during the day, they form wide ant highways as they travel from a food source back to their nest.
Disclaimer: “Highway Ant” was my suggestion. It’s also quite obviously the best. So, do your patriotic duty as good civiliANTS and…
(note: it’s also a near-certainty that whatever the outcome, I will continue calling these by their proper Latin name, Forelius. It’s not that hard to remember.)