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April 26, 2011


Fire ants assemble as a 'super-organism'

This will only tick them off: To understand exactly how the structure worked, the researchers took a raft of several thousand ants and dropped it in liquid nitrogen, immediately freezing it.

(Thanks to Jeffrey Brown)


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We're gonna need a bigger blowtorch.

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Timothy Leary saw the same phenom. Without a dam single real fire ant in sight.

I vote for continuing experimentation, determining the effect of fire ants assembling on Ronald Moss's organ. Follow-up with liquid nitrogen is optional.

I agree with Slightly Askew.

I, too, am aligned with Askew.

Mmmmmm!! Antcicles!!



Dear Ant Overlords,

Please be advised I had nothing to do with the liquid nitrogen. It was Ronald Moss.

Fire ants? Super-organism?

Yeesh. I suppose I shouldn't complain about the 50 million Argentine ants that have colonized my yard...

I, too, am aligned with Askew.

What would you do for a Klondike Fire Ant Bar?

bm, you're supposed to write something original or at least ironically unoriginal. That's the game here.

My wife saw this and thought it said SUPER ORGASM. She's out digging up my yard looking for the little boogers.

Wingnut, you ain't by chance married to my ex are you? haha

I saw a herd of fire ants go after a beetle once. It was fascinating. One, I was not going to reach in there to rescue the beetle and two, no single ant seemed to be doing much except running around.
But the beetle wound up as lunch, anyway.
BTW, when I was a kid, the preferred way to rid oneself of fire ants when you'd done something stupid like standing still was to use a garden hose. They don't handle pressure well.

My Ph.D. dad did post-doctoral research on fire ants for the USDA in Greenbelt, MD, back in the 60's, when I was a wee lad. He was trying to identify the pheromone the ants follow to and from their food supply. Replicate it, spray it on a field, and the colony starves. And, it's species-specific.

They never did isolate it, but other insect pheromone research has provided some effective controls. Like catching Japanese Beetles by baiting traps with their sex pheromone.

Nowadays, the Texas Aggies are having some success against fire ants by infesting colonies with phorid flies, which parasitize individual ants, laying eggs which hatch and eat the ant out from the inside, until the adult fly emerges when the ant's head pops off.

Yes, bon, insects live lives full of fun and dancing. They care deeply about each other.
No, my mistake, that's Disney.

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