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Monday, January 29th, 2007
9:26 am - From the BBC: "Rare red ants get a helping hand."


Conservationists have been awarded almost £50,000 to help save a rare species of red ant from becoming extinct in mainland Britain.

current mood: pleased

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Monday, December 11th, 2006
11:20 am - Ants on the Science Channel


Hi! ::waves:: I'm not sure how many people follow this community anymore, but here's a reminder that the Science Channel will be showing its special, "Ants! Nature's Secret Power" a couple more times this week, in case you missed it last night, or forgot to record it, or want to make all your loved ones watch it, too!

(Feed the Ants)

Monday, June 19th, 2006
10:18 pm

Hi there!

I bet there are much enthausiasts here who keep ants as pets.

I keep the following:

- Myrmica rubra (This species is called the European fire ant in the US, so I've heard. Here its a local species, building small colonys.) I keep them in a aquarium with sand.
- Myrmica specioides (A very rare European fire ant. Thej have no intrest in sugar and are slightly smaller then M. rubra) Y-tong nest
- Camponotus ligniperda (Had to buy this one, becouse its extinct over here. I have heard its a house pest in the US?) Y-tong nest
- Lasius niger (The most common black pavement ant) glass tube
- Lasius flavus (A yello species wich lives sub-terrainian its entire life) glass tube

I hope to come in contact with other ant lovers, exchanging info on how to keep them indoors (containd that is :) ) And maby exchange some intresting species (crazy/citronelle ants have my intrest)

Are any of you known with http://www.antstore.net? Its a great site, check it out!

current mood: content

(Feed the Ants)

Thursday, March 16th, 2006
7:47 pm - Greetings!

Wow! A community for people who like/study ants. I'm a graduate student studying red imported fire ants and the bacteria in their system. Just wanted to say hi to you all.

current mood: cheerful

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Saturday, October 22nd, 2005
11:52 am

I'm pleased to find a community devoted to the wonderful world of ants! Any serious myrmecologists or aspiring myrmecologists here? I study ant-plant mutualisms in the Sonoran desert. I am also interested in and have worked a bit on patterns of insect biodiversity, especially ant diversity...

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Thursday, July 14th, 2005
7:27 pm

hi i have a strange question because i know very little about ants! In lots of sci-fi stories and films there is imagary of "queen bee/ant/etc/" type creatures, but they are mostly portrayed as bloated shapless baby making machines, they look like giant maggots and just kind of lay there eating and giving birth. now, i have looked into the real life queen bees and queen ants and they dont seem to look like this at all, so it made me think what real insects/lave/etc are these aliens based on, or, are they pure inventions of the sci-fi world, just a type of invented grossness? thanks anyway xx

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Tuesday, June 21st, 2005
8:26 am - Hello from Fire Ant country

Right now, I am nursing several nasty fluid-filled pustules on my foot due to fire ants...

Does anyone have any really malicious, evil-looking cartoons of fire ants or other ants?

I feel the need to make a t-shirt to commemorate living in this zone of despair.

(Feed the Ants)

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005
12:09 pm - AntWorks

My ants keep escaping from my AntWorks aquarium.... I have had to put selotape over the vents in the lid and just pierce them ever so gently to let air in....

am a bit disappointed so far - I started out with 18 and then a good 9 or so escaped and the others died... :S

Any suggestions?


current mood: anxious

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2005
4:57 pm - When in Rome, get fierce like the New Yorkers Do

x-posted sunjoy antmound ecologists

This Washington Post article on slavemaking ants is one of the most fascinating bits of ecology I've come across. Populations of the same species of ants were found to exhibit different behaviors; the New York ants populations are way more agressive, and tend to kill most of the mature individuals of the colonies they take larvae from. The W. Virginia populations, on the other hand, tend to leave the mature ant colonies intact, only taking larvae.

Like any discussion of virulence in parasites, there is a conflict between intra-host competition (a given strain does better if it reproduces really fast and swamps out other competitive strains) but reproducing too fast tends to weaken the host organism, which can lower infection/transmission rates.

In the ant case, one would think that it would be prudent to leave mature ants when larvae are taken, so that the colony can regenerate, and essentially act as a renewal resource that the slavemakers can periodically harvest. Killing the colony might take more energy and be more risky, not to mention that any future raids will have to find new colonies. Perhaps though, the slave species compete with the slavemaker ants for resources (food, nesting space ...). Lots of neat ecology to be done on this system!!

(Feed the Ants)

Friday, December 31st, 2004
2:40 pm

hi, am new here.

Have any of you ever actually tried to study ants? I'm in the twlvth grade and I decided to do a project on them for my environmental science class. it's insanely difficult. I've been trying to get an idea of food foraging and cleaning timings of a red ant colony for the past month or so. sometimes I can tell what they're up to, sometimes I can't. but I love it. it's really fun. try it sometime.

wow that was so pointless. oh well.

(Feed the Ants)

Wednesday, December 8th, 2004
11:02 am - Nabakovian Blues

Stumbled upon 'Blue's Clues' this morning while channel surfing and spooning oatmeal into my mouth. Did a mental double-take, thinking "hey that's a Mole Cricket on TV, and that's a very cool thing!", and sat down to watch.

I think Nickolodeon has been infiltrated by an entomologist. :-) The whole show today was on bugs. When Blue skidoo'd into a "big huge bug book", I immediately thought of Holdobler & Wilson, and wouldn't you know it, Blue and Steve met Antoinette, a newborn worker who needed some help foraging. She was drawn lighter in color than her older sisters, which is appropriate cuz young ants' exoskeletons are callow.

They also met a stick insect, and got mail from friends who learned that Preying Mantids are closely related to Cockroaches. Upon learning that fact, their reaction wasn't 'eewww!' but 'cooool!'.

Blue's favorite bug was the problem to solve, and the clues were: wings, swirly colors, and ... a chrysalis. They actually used the word 'chrysalis' several times, explaining that it was 'like a cocoon'.

Lemme tell you, the science educator/entomologist in me was having a giant hardon watching that show. :-)

I also realized for the first time that Steve uses ASL on the show, and I learned the sign for "smart". :-)

x-poted antmound, geeks

(Feed the Ants)

Monday, October 18th, 2004
11:10 pm - ants in the machinery

Hi. I ran across this community while searching out suitable interests to list for my community
all_complexity. Ants still got some secrets to share through ant-inspired search algorithms and studies of antlike social organisations. Here's a beautiful quote I found where Richard Dawkins talks about driver ants:

'I never did glimpse the queen, but somewhere inside that boiling ball she was, the central data bank, the repository of the master DNA of the whole colony. Those gaping soldiers were prepared to die for the queen, not because they loved their mother, not because they had been drilled in the ideals of patriotism, but simply because their brains and their jaws were built by genes stamped from the master die carried in the queen herself. They behaved like brave soldiers because they had inherited the genes of a long line of ancestral queens whole lives, and whose genes, had been saved by soldiers as brave as themselves. My soldiers had inherited the same genes from the present queen as those old soldiers had inherited from the ancestral queen. My soldiers were guarding the master copies of the very instructions that made them do the guarding. They were guarding the wisdom of their ancestors, the Ark of the Covenant.'

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Monday, September 6th, 2004
2:15 pm - Ant vs Worm


Just found you guys, and it just goes to show however obscure the interest you can always find loads of other like-minded weirdos on line!

I am a zoology graduate and have taken up learning as much as I can about ants as a hobby. I especially love reading old publications (19th century) which have a completely different attitude towards the study of ants than the modern approach.

But someone wrote earlier on here that ants are the most numerous animals on the planet (or words to that effect), however I read (in the book "Parasite Rex" I think) that one in every 4 animals is a nematode worm. Anyone got any facts either way?

current mood: lethargic

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Tuesday, July 6th, 2004
10:20 pm - Hi

Hello everyone... I'm new here. I also love ants. I used to feed them when I was little (well, I still do actually :) ). I'm a biology student but unfortunately our university does nothing at all with insects. I got the Wilson book for my last birthday.. it's so pretty!

A year ago i went on vacation to Costa Rica, there were beautiful insects everywhere. Real-life leaf cutter ants!. They do have those at the zoo here, but it's not the same.

current mood: cheerful

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Saturday, June 19th, 2004
8:31 am - Ants at War

Yesterday, I saw 2 ant colonies at war. It was pretty incredible. The ants were swarming out of cracks in the step in which they had built their nests, and attacked mercilessly and selflessly, ignoring the wind that was blowing them around. For those of you who don't know, ants live in colonies of thousands, so wars in ant society are quite large compared to the size of the ants. There were all these dead ants, and living ants grabbing on to eachother and killing.

It's interesting that humans are not the only creatures to regularly go to war.

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Sunday, May 9th, 2004
11:42 am - Myrmecine musings

So the talk of 'a bugs life' made me think about 'Antz'.

There's the whole theme about individuality vs. the mindless collective. When I was a kid I used to wish dearly that human society could be like a social insect colony: everybody doing their part (and constituionally pre-disposed to enjoy their specialty) for what's best for society, with no strife (except I did always feel bad for the drones). It was the late 70's early 80's and mutually assured nuclear destruction was on my mind.

trouble in paradise?Collapse )
aside on MarxCollapse )

*looks something up in Hðlldobler & Wilson* Wow. So many ways of colony founding.
hope this html worksCollapse )

Well my mind is now thoroughly boggled. H & W devote a whole chapter each to kin selection and nestmate discrimination. no wonder so much is written about antsCollapse )
Well, this post was supposed to contain musings about the individual vs collective theme in "Antz", but I seem to have gotten side tracked by how fascinating the real things are! A good thing too, as I'd forgotten a lot.

PS: I'm wearing my Leafcutter T-shirt :-)

(1 Crumb | Feed the Ants)

Friday, May 7th, 2004
9:45 am - Plop

I saw an ant fall off a stair yesterday. Made me laugh. She was cruising along, came to the edge of the stair, and much like that Warg in the Two Towers Movie, walked right off the edge.

(1 Crumb | Feed the Ants)

Monday, May 3rd, 2004
11:51 am - Imax/ New Me :)

I'm new to this community, but yeah. I love ants.
One of my friends went to Victoria on vacation and I took care of her pets, so she got me a whole pack of carpenter ants! And since I can't get an ant farm atm, this is the next best thing.
They're going all over my room, it will be muchly kewl.

Also going to see "Bugs" (I think that's what it's called O_O) at the Imax, hopefully this weekend. It is about all kinds of insects, but ants should be in it. Other wise I will be slightly annoyed.

Yay ants! :) Woot

current mood: energetic

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2004
12:13 am - New Member

My name's Matt, and i love ants. They are most likely my favorite animal. I used to go out in the yard and dig big holes and watch the ants, and study them when they made there trails and whatnot. Now i know alot more about ants, but by no means do i know very much. I figured i could express my love, and knowlege here :) rock on.

(1 Crumb | Feed the Ants)

Thursday, January 29th, 2004
11:23 am - Greetings :)
antlvr Hello! My name is Katt (Alias Mimic on chats)

I have been interested in ants for as long as I can remember, and managed to only find Simant by fluke when it came out for computers.

I don't really have a favorite ant; though Camponotus pennsylvanicus (Black carpenter ants), and Acromyrmex octospinosus (Leaf cutter ants) are in the top 10. (In calgary, we have a colony of leaf cutter ants at our Zoo, so I always get to drag my friends to see them when we happen to visit)

I'm glad to have joined this community. It will be a great oppotunity to learn even more about ants and to share the little tid bits I already know about them.

(Like that ants have tounges he

current mood: pleased

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Friday, December 5th, 2003
1:36 am
aktiv I want an African Ant Farm...

If you're interested... On the Discovery Channel at 12PM on Saturday DEC.06.03 they will be showing a video about "Killer Ants"...


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Monday, September 1st, 2003
11:11 am - Hello

I just joined this community, and I was pretty surprised to find it. I didn't think there were other people who could babble for hours about how great ants are :D

I'm been a bit obsessed with ants since I was very young, probably about 5-6 years old. I don't remember what started me on it, but one of the first things was definately the game SimAnt, and I recommend this game to anyone who adores ants. It's for the Super Nintendo and the purpose is to help the black ants beat the red ants, but, eh, I digress.

Anyways, I've clearly spent too much time watching ants, considering I can identify ant castes by the shape of their head O.o (is that unhealthy at all?) I like other insects, but always ants first *grin*

(1 Crumb | Feed the Ants)

Monday, August 25th, 2003
6:06 pm - Interesting ant facts:

With their combined weight greater than the combined weight of all humans, ants are the most numerous type of animal.

Strong in relation to their size, ants can carry 10 to 20 times their body weight. They work in teams to move extremely heavy things.

Ant brains are largest amongst insects. Mushroom shaped brain appendages have function similar to the gray-matter of human brains.

It has been estimated that an ant's brain may have the same processing power as a Macintosh II computer.

Ants herd aphids & "milk" them for nectar-like food.

The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days.

The abdomen of the ant contains two stomachs. One stomach holds the food for itself and second stomach is for food to be shared with other ants.

The Slave-Maker Ant (Polyergus Rufescens) raids the nests of other ants and steals their pupae. When these new ants hatch,they work as slaves within the colony. The worker ants keep the eggs and larvae in different groups according to ages.

current mood: curious

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Wednesday, June 11th, 2003
6:23 pm - I ♥ Ants!

I just joined the community. I don't know much about ants, but I am fascinated by them. In my previous apartment there were some fire-ants that made a home for themselves in my medicine cabinet. Instead of killing them, I decided to feed and befriend them. I often even petted them. I was never bitten. I found these ants to be particularly fascinating because they didn't behave the way I know ants to act. When I would leave food out for them, instead of carrying it back to a nest, they would sit there and pig out and then take naps or clean themselves. I thought this to be very funny because all I'd ever seen of them in nature and on nature shows on television depicted them as slaves that do nothing but work, work, work.

current mood: thoughtful

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Sunday, March 9th, 2003
8:31 am


I just joined the community. Last time I lookd up myrmecology at LJ, only myself and another user came up in the results. This time the results were much better, since someone finally created a community about the subject of our stinging, biting, digging, harvesting, leaf cutting, terrorising friends, the ants.

I thought I'd share this: http://www.bolt.com/apps/id/viewWhiteboard.asp?memberId=3708343
It's part of my profile at another web site (Bolt.com). It's for anything at all, so I dedicated it to ants, both to show my interest in them and also so I could smugly thing to myself "I have one of the most interesting Whiteboards at the site."

Anyway, the end.

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Saturday, February 22nd, 2003
12:38 pm - posting sunjoy's comment...

"I just read about anting. Anting as in birds who let themselves get attacked by ants (free feather disinfection), not as in those of us that would rather watch ants than birds :-P

Funny I'd never heard of this before. I wonder if the birds only use Formicines (ants that spray acid but don't sting) or all ants. Gonna have to look it up in good ole Holldobler & Wilson.

So what's your favorite ant (hard question, i know)?"

as to the first thing, i have heard of anting. i've actually seen it before--the birds will peck at an ant-mound, maybe eat a few, and sit in the middle of the commotion they've caused, and continue to anger the ants while they spit acid at it. i'm pretty sure birds will only do this with ants that spit acid when threatened--not bite. but i may be wrong.

as for my favorite ant, that's nearly impossible for me to answer. :P they're all very fascinating, really. winged ants especially interest me, though, but i'm not sure why. they also scare the crap out of me, because, well...flying ants. but yeah.

(Feed the Ants)

Sunday, January 19th, 2003
3:41 pm


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Thursday, October 10th, 2002
2:17 pm

finally, some blessed soul takes the pains and the interest to create a community for such an obscure subject - ants!!! these are the most amazing creatures on the planet with abilities ranging from carrying a grain of sugar to stripping a fully grown cow to it's bones!!! amazing, intriguing creatures these!!! keep up the good work guys!!!

current mood: amused

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Wednesday, October 9th, 2002
9:49 am - First post.

So, this is a community about ants, for ants, by ... us. Because we think ants are cool.

It rained here a few days ago, so there have been lots of ants in my kitchen lately. Most of them have cleared out by now, but I did meet one that was scurrying across the counter while I was fixing my breakfast. She was really sweet, and it was fun to watch her. I love to meet new ants, watch them, or watch trails of them. I also like to study about them, because I'm a dork, and I like to study about everything.

That is all. Hi. :D

current mood: bored

(Feed the Ants)

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