Monday 16 March 2015

Creature 167: Dorylus

Ants that really hold a grudge.

Dorylus is a genus of army ants which are commonly called driver ants.

They are omnivorous,  highly aggressive and highly territorial. If you ever disturb one of their nests, run. I mean it. They will quickly swarm anything which they percieve to be a threat and will tear it appart and eat it. Driver ant colonies can contain literally millions of individual ants, so don't assume you are safe just because they are tiny. They are also very deternmined and when they bite a percieved threat they can lock their jaws. When they do this they are very hard to remove and their jaw will remain locked even if you tear ther thorax off the head. This bite is so strong that some indigenous peoples use them to suture wounds.

When their colony is running out of food they form large swarms which sometimes contain tens of thousands of ants. Theae swarms slowly move away from the nest devouring everthing in their path before returning. A single driver ant has nothimg on a fire ant or a bullet ant in terms of the pain and damage they can inflict, but their entire colonies are so quick to respond to any threat that they arw probably the most dangerous ants on earth.

Various species of driver ants can be found in Tropical Africa and Asia

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Genus: Dorylus

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