Driver ant

From Academic Kids

Driver ants is the term commonly applied to ants of the subfamily Dorylinae. They are also sometimes called "Old World army ants". Additionally, they are known as "siafu" in their native areas. The term "driver ant" is also used to describe various other ants—primarily subfamilies formerly included with the Dorylinae, but also some myrmicine ants such as Pheidologeton diversus and similar species.

Driver ants live in the rainforests and savannas of Africa. They group together and sweep the forest floor in columns of up to 22 million, feeding on other insects as well as small mammals. They are a threat to just about any organism that dwells on the forest floor. Soldier ants line the sides of the column and protect the group from anything in their way.

The siafu are large and can be dangerous, they swarm severely, attacking openings in prey including nose, mouth and ears. They are the only ant known to attack people with the intention of food. Some people, generally young or infirm, have been unable to evade the ants and have died from suffocation.

All siafu are blind, but there are a few different morphs of them. Soldier ants have very large strong pincers, which have been used as stiches in African cultures by holding a cut closed, then pushing a siafu onto the cut, once it has grabbed both sides of the cut and is holding them, the head of the ant is cut off leaving the body to fall away.

The entire colony of Driver Ants is made up of females, when a male is hatched it leaves the colony. Males are often referred to as sausage flies because of the large sperm filled tail they have. They are the largest ant morph known. The flies, once developed are drawn to a migratory trail by scent, there they have their wings cut off and are carried to the colony to mate with the queen.



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