The most dangerous ants: where they live, and how painful bite?

The most dangerous ants: where they live, and how painful bite?

In the world there are 90 species of ants-bulldogs, but the most dangerous of them is the Myrmecia pilosula

The Nature of Australia is very diverse and brings to the people a great danger. It was at this point our planet is inhabited by some of the most dangerous spiders and snakes. The ants in there, by the way, is also extremely dangerous and their bites are annually cause the death of thousands of people. Thus, in the Australian island of Tasmania you can meet the so-called black ants-bulldogs (Myrmecia pilosula), which are very painful bite and let the blood of their victims with a powerful venom. Toxic substances cause a lethal anaphylactic shock only 3% of people. Despite the small fraction of their potential victims in Tasmania from the bites of these ants kill more people than the attacks of spiders, snakes, sharks and other predators combined. Scientists study these creatures from a distant 1858 and during that time I learned about them many interesting facts. For example, they found that ants are able to move quickly 20-inch jumps.

Like many other species of ants, Australian murderers live in colonies. In one large nest diameter of 1 meter can be inhabited by several thousand worker ants, hundreds of males and a few females. Social structure of ant colonies is that working individuals are engaged in the construction of the nest, the males fertilize the females and they lay eggs. The same thing happens in ant "bulldogs", but his appearance they differ from ordinary ants. Differences in body size, colour and other anatomical features.

The First threat of the ants was described in 1858 by the English entomologist Frederick Smith. Length of worker ants reaches 14 mm and females 16 mm. Males are something in-between these castes and have bodies with a length of about 11 millimeters. Almost the whole body of the ants-bulldog painted in black and only paired jaws, antennae and tarsi yellow. Whole body is covered with tiny hairs gray. The species name of the Myrmecia pilosula just translated as "covered with hairs".

Individuals from different colonies

Black ants feed on plant nectar and small insects. For some species using a 10-cm jumping. Needless to say, they deliberately people do not hunt. The ants bite only if their colony is in danger. So, if while walking through the forests of Tasmania, people will come to the anthill, he definitely not be good. His skin is instantly studded with numerous powerful biting jaws, which are poisonous jaws. If the victim has an Allergy — most likely, he will die.

the Head of the black ant-bulldog

Information about the exact composition of ant poison are hard to find. But scientists openly share what feels a man by the bite of insects. The first thing about sacrifice, a strong pain at the bite site that can last for several weeks. The skin swells, becomes red and is covered with extremely unpleasant bubbles. The human body temperature is greatly increased, blood pressure decreases and heart rate increases. When severe anaphylactic shock may occur death.

The Second most dangerous species are considered to be army ants. As you can tell from the name, these tiny creatures to live permanently in the same place and frequently move from place to place. In colonies of the African species of Dorylus wilverthi there are about 22 million individuals. The body size of ants also reaches 15 mm, and the awesome view they give of the jaw, which is larger head. The speed of movement of the colony is about 20 meters per hour. The ants-soldiers are on the edges of the column and ready to attack anyone.

the Head of the African nomadic ant

So, the columns of nomadic ants sometimes destroy almost everything that comes in their way. No matter who it is: larvae, adult insects, snakes and rodents — small creatures seemingly without a sense of fear. Only here greatly harm people, they can not. Yes, in rare cases, the poison can cause victims to the aforementioned anaphylactic shock, but fatal cases are extremely rare. But in the list of dangerous ants these creatures clearly would cost to enter.

In the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and the Philippines can run into the so-called red fire ants. The length of the red body, because of which they had been given a title, does not exceed 6 mm. These aggressive creatures can't eat only nectar, so mostly feed on deadmammals, spiders, worms and so on. The size of the colonies of fire ants depends on their diet. So, if individuals cannot find the sweetened water, the colony grows faster. This conclusion, at least, was made by scientists in the course of lengthy observations.

the Red fire ant, close-up

As a rule, red fire ants are attacking the victims of the crowd and behave very aggressively. Painful bites they introduce to foreign organisms toxic substance solenopsis. The bites felt like on the skin extinguished the match — hence the name "fire" ants. If a person is lucky not to face with these creatures and he is stung, the symptoms appear redness and swelling of the skin, nausea and dizziness. In history there are cases when the bites of fire ants led to the death of a person.

the Head of the red fire ant. The consequences of bites , but it's not a pretty sight.

Fire ants create problems not only in the human world, but also in the animal society. For several years, scientists noticed an increase in mortality of birds and in some cases they die from the bites of these ants. In areas with a high density of these creatures, many Chicks simply can not reach the adult stage of development. At particular risk are birds that nest on the ground. And it is understandable because of predatory ants don't even need to climb the trees — the food downright lies on "a platter" in the form of a nest.

Victims often become red ants nest on the ground American terns (Sterna antillarum)

Humanity tries to fight fire ants with all means available. In the place of their accumulation specifically brought such creatures as the parasitic ants of the species Solenopsis daguerre flies-Gorbatko and mushrooms Bavaria Bassi (Beauveria bassiana), which destroy the dangerous insects. Also, in some regions of the planet, people are trying to exterminate the threat of the colony by digging up ant hills, followed by pouring of boiling water or liquid nitrogen. In the second half of the twentieth century to combat the poisonous creatures of the chemicals were used, but then it was discovered that they are too dangerous for birds and people.

Insects affected by fungus Bavaria Bassi

And in South America to live ants-bullets (Paraponera clavata). The unusual name was given to them because the pain of their bite brings the same suffering as the bullet wound. And all because during the bite they are allowed in the body of their victims a strong poison powertossim, causing excruciating pain. According to some researchers, this substance is much more dangerous than the venom contained in the stings of all wasps or bees. So, by the bite of these creatures people is also not funny and in some cases clash with these creatures can be deadly.

the appearance of the ant-bullet

These ants are, perhaps, larger representatives of all the above. The length of their black bodies up to 25 mm. In a single colony can live for about 2500 working animals, which prefer to build nests at the base of the trees. At the entrance to the nest regularly is a pair of individuals-security guards, which in case of danger warn the entire colony. Subsequently, a large army begins to scout the area up to 30 centimeters and attack anyone who they deem enemies.

the head of the ant-bullet

Ants often attack the victims by jumping on them from the trees. Down on the surface of the enemy's body, they seem to "squeak" and calling their relatives. Together they dig into the skin 3.5-mm tip and allowed poisonous substances which brings unbearable pain for the whole day. Therefore, ants of the bullets there is another, unofficial name — "ants in 24 hours." It is believed that their bites are much more dangerous attacks of wasps and bees.

Some Indian tribes these horrible insects are used in the rites of initiation of boys into adulthood. At the hands of young men to put on special gloves from the leaves, which are located inside the venomous sting of ants. After 10 minutes of wearing these gloves boys become paralyzed fingers. Wearing gloves poisonous is repeated about 20 times a year. If the boy will suffer this horror, so he is ready to become a warrior.

a Video where the presenter of a TV show wearing those same gloves

On our website there are lots of ants. For example, in 2019, I was talking about the huge flock of black garden ants (Lasius niger), which could be seen even from space. Why there were so many in that time, read .


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