Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

I'd like to put mine in a terrarium but I don't know how I would handle their hibernation needs.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004

Ain't got half a what you thought you had

Goons Are Great posted:

Crazy ants are super special. [snip]

Wow, fascinating! Thanks. It sounds like the article is actually about a different species of crazy ant, the Nylanderia fulva aka Rasberry crazy ant aka tawny crazy ant. Not sure if the same genetic quirk applies, but also seems like their spread has still been "contained" to the Gulf coast rather than sweeping across the continental US... These are the ones that seem to be attracted to electrical equipment; the article mentions a few instances of people only discovering they have infestations after an appliance short circuits and when they go to suss it out, they find a mass of ants.

This might be a dumb Q - but why would it have taken this long for crazy ants to spread so far, given their ability to out-compete other species? I get that global trade & climate change are massive drivers of invasive species, but it seems like crazy ants are so successful that they should have been able to invade even without human intervention.

aphid_licker
Jan 7, 2009

eyebrowse


Pillbug

I was kinda rolling my eyes at what I thought was sensationalist reporting by the NYT, so fuckin lol at learning that they're really actually exactly that bad.

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


Raenir Salazar posted:

I'd like to put mine in a terrarium but I don't know how I would handle their hibernation needs.

It's fairly modest set-ups, size wise. I bought this https://bugzarre.co.uk/Ant-Housing-Arena-Vented and they accidently sent me two of the larger containers (which are actually different looking from the ones pictured here and look really nice). Despite the budget price, they're actually really nice containers. Fit cleanly in the gap between my stationary cupboard and the lowest shelf of my book case.

Since I wound up with two large ones, I made the jump and moved my two Tupperware colonies into them as nests. All I've done is put the test tube nests straight into them after half filling them with sand. The queens and young are mostly remaining in the tubes, which I'm happy with since there's no chance of collapse.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970

Well yeah, but honestly..



Sharks Eat Bear posted:

Wow, fascinating! Thanks. It sounds like the article is actually about a different species of crazy ant, the Nylanderia fulva aka Rasberry crazy ant aka tawny crazy ant. Not sure if the same genetic quirk applies, but also seems like their spread has still been "contained" to the Gulf coast rather than sweeping across the continental US... These are the ones that seem to be attracted to electrical equipment; the article mentions a few instances of people only discovering they have infestations after an appliance short circuits and when they go to suss it out, they find a mass of ants.

This might be a dumb Q - but why would it have taken this long for crazy ants to spread so far, given their ability to out-compete other species? I get that global trade & climate change are massive drivers of invasive species, but it seems like crazy ants are so successful that they should have been able to invade even without human intervention.

Yeah it does, the entire genus is, to a varying degree, capable of this mechanism, but only this one species is considered a world wide pest, the rest is more or less contained.

Human intervention was needed mostly because of the distances they needed to cross. These ants are basically surrounded by enemies that decimate them so successfully in their ecosystem that spreading is not really happening, hence why most species of this kind are usually endemic to one specific spot. Inside of this bubble they were under such intense evolutionary pressure by predators and the environment that they developed such new, adaptive way to react to it and thus managed to survive.
We exported them out of this bubble and into the world, where they had nothing to fear and found easy prey everywhere. Plus, they figured that human settlements in particular are ideal places to live, as we for some reason always keep our houses warm and don't tolerate cold, always have food around and do a lot of stuff they like, too. Additionally, research suggests that this special genetic mechanism that really tipped the scale in their favor is an extremely new development, probably from the past 400 to 300 years, which is nothing in evolution time.

It's like they grew up in a brutal level environment where they barely survived. Now they find themselves overpowered outside of their native habitat.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



I was in limestone country the other day, and was looking at an anthill directly above a cave. Most of the anthill was regular spoil, but around each entrance was a pinch of bright white sand. Were the ants actually chewing through the limestone to expand their hill?

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970

Well yeah, but honestly..



Depending on the species, yes, certainly! Many ants can chew through extremely tough materials, most can do it but don't use it unless they need to though. Ant mandibles and the entire mouth apparatus consisting out of the mandibles plus maxilla are extremely efficient at biting through stuff, as they can use a minimal amount of energy to put a maximum amount of pressure on a very small area. Most new world ant species, for example, have no problems chewing through hardened concrete. It takes time and a lot of ants, of course, but time is not a resource they aren't willing to spare and if there's a reason to do so, there always will be enough ants to do that. Regular minerals, like stones you find just lying around, are no problem for most ant species in general.

That said, limestone is relatively soft and easy to work with, hence why we use it a lot for our stuff. In that case, however, when laying it out on the entrance, there might be a different reason why they do that, since when burrowing they usually have a designated spot where they dump the soil they dig up. Depending on the origin of the limestone there, it might be that it has certain antiseptic qualities. Since the material limestone is made of, mostly calcium carbonate, is very vulnerable to low pH environments and water in and around caves often tends to be a bit acidic, they can use it to dissolve the limestone slowly, lay it out on the entrance and disinfect incoming ants. They can detect it, too, since when dissolving through acid, limestone produces a ton of carbon dioxide, which the ants are capable of sensing using their antenna.
That's a thing that is well known and researched from ants harvesting resin from trees, sometimes even by systematically inflicting minor wounds into the tree to provoke resin production and harvest it later. They then lay it in and around the nest and use its antiseptic quality based on the oils and carboxylic acids to kill of germs and treat infected ants.

It's just a possibility of course, there could be a lot of reasons they do that specifically at that spot, but it seems possible to me.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Goons Are Great posted:

It's like they grew up in a brutal level environment where they barely survived. Now they find themselves overpowered outside of their native habitat.

Anime is getting out of hand!

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970

Well yeah, but honestly..



Anime is forbidden in the ant world

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Goons Are Great posted:

Anime is forbidden in the ant world

*Sadly puts away gamedev concept art of anime style Norse ants*

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019




From what I've read that pressure cooker situation of "warring" ant species is why they developed their behaviour of treating fire ant venom too, they're one of the few ant species that seem to be able to deal with them well because they grew up in the same places and crazy ants evolved strategies to thrive despite them.



That's interesting. I'd wondered if it was to do with heat control of the nest - like darker stones will trap heat and keep it warmer, light reflective stuff will stop it heating up as much. Seen ants here do that to regulate the temp of their anthills/nests.

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



Why are some crazy ants attracted to electricity? What's beneficial about that/what other factors led to them developing that behavior?

Also I am tickled pink to learn that the secret that makes crazy ants so scary is "their queens can Go gently caress Themselves"

ninjewtsu fucked around with this message at 21:47 on Apr 7, 2021

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


ninjewtsu posted:

Why are some crazy ants attracted to electricity? What's beneficial about that/what other factors led to them developing that behavior?

Also I am tickled pink to learn that the secret that makes crazy ants so scary is "their queens can Go gently caress Themselves"

It's warm is my guess which means faster larval development, same reason the xenomorphs built their nest over the reactor. They probably don't sense the electricity at all.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970

Well yeah, but honestly..



Yup, it's most likely that. Technically we don't know if they sense electricity and it's not entirely impossible that they can using their hyper sensitive antenna, but it seems rather unlikely, simply as there is no observable reason for them to develop such a specific skill. Just like with pharaoh ants being driven to move into computers or start fires by chewing through cables, it's most likely the heat that they want to use or transport around for various reasons, not the electricity itself.

Even if they were able to sense it, and again it's entirely possible there are animals who can do that, our regular power levels are probably way too high for them to handle. Even eels who can do that and use and generate electricity use it at a very, very low level, simply as it's not efficient to generate, sense or handle that much energy, unless you want to power a city.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

You have no idea how pissed I was when it seemed like my 600$ computer monitor might have been bricked by dem' pharaohs. I could literally see them between the glass and the LEDs. A literal bug in my computer!

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970

Well yeah, but honestly..



I am not entirely convinced that Pharaoh ants as a species specifically exist to annoy humans tbh, they are insanely effective at it.

aphid_licker
Jan 7, 2009

eyebrowse


Pillbug

Carpantry

https://i.imgur.com/mAYVlch.mp4

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice


Wow I've read they leave a pile below their nest but that's crazy.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970

Well yeah, but honestly..



Awww look at them go, they are so much better at organizing this than I will ever be

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

My myrmica rubra (new colony, 30 queens) seems to be giving no shits about the crickets milling about their outworld and are all just like huddled up in the nest. Hrm.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970

Well yeah, but honestly..



That just happens. They only need proteins when they plan to expand or have to feed their young, so hunting is a waste of resources if they can't use it straight away.
Hell, it may not be ants, but I fed my scorpion some locusts around four months ago, he never touched them until they were fully grown up and already mating. Then, suddenly, in a matter of a few days, he went on a killing spree and murdered them all to have the nest back on his own.

I guess sometimes you just don't feel like having a hotdog, even if said hotdog is living right next to you, ready to be eaten.

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


Crickets can put up a surprisingly good fight. A friend of mine gave his mantis nymphs a serving of cricket nymphs, and the next day only about five of the hundred odd mantises hadn't been eaten.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

Bug Squash posted:

Crickets can put up a surprisingly good fight. A friend of mine gave his mantis nymphs a serving of cricket nymphs, and the next day only about five of the hundred odd mantises hadn't been eaten.

Hrm, maybe I'll crush them again; I thought Rubra seemed aggressive enough to take em' out but maybe not.

aphid_licker
Jan 7, 2009

eyebrowse


Pillbug

Bug Squash posted:

Crickets can put up a surprisingly good fight. A friend of mine gave his mantis nymphs a serving of cricket nymphs, and the next day only about five of the hundred odd mantises hadn't been eaten.

That's kinda inspirational tbh. WE WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

No way...


College Slice

aphid_licker posted:

That's kinda inspirational tbh. WE WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT

Adorably I gave my campos a cricket once, saw that it wasn't properly dead when I gave it after it tussled with a worker who ran away; I took my tongs and re-crushed it and the worker came back and mounted it asserting its dominance; as if to say, "I did it, I killed the BEAST."

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


Raenir Salazar posted:

Hrm, maybe I'll crush them again; I thought Rubra seemed aggressive enough to take em' out but maybe not.

They're probably a bit more caughtious as it's a young colony. Crickets are only a danger if they catch you moulting, in which case, hey, free protein. For ants this shouldn't be a problem as anyone vulnerable should be safely in the nest.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

VictualSquid
Feb 29, 2012

Gently enveloping the target with indiscriminate love.


Hugs and greetings from the aliexpress thread:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000076135871.html

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply