August 19th, 2011

meet the beetle—and the ants

It was a very interesting day for insects at our house yesterday. First we found this large black beetle clinging to the wall of our porch. It was about 2 inches in length and rather intimidating looking. But nonetheless, my 3-year-old daughter wanted to touch it. First she touched its back and then she tried to pick it up and it fell to the ground. She was very excited about it. And I was very impressed with her fearlessness.

RWGbeetle

Then when we went out to the garden we witnessed what I suppose was some kind of ant hatch. There were thousands of ants all over the raised bed that until recently had been growing lettuce. Some were normal ants, others were winged ants, and still others were giant winged ants. Check out this video to get a sense of just how creepy-crawly my garden was yesterday.

I’m no entomologist, and can only speculate what was going on. Was it a hatch? Were they moving their colony? Was it related to the loud thunder we had all afternoon? I have no idea. Anyone want to venture a guess.

Comments

    It looks like the ants are swarming. When colonies become too big for the food the worker ants can harvest, some of the new queens as well as winged males swarm outside of the nest. They fly into the air and mate. Then the males gradually die and the newly pregnant queens fly off to establish new colonies.

    Funny..I just cleared out a raised bed that looked the same & got “eat-up” by several thousand ants who were residing there also…LOL.

    Maybe they’re moving the nest if that’s what they do. I know they don’t seem to come back in the same place the following year so where do they go or do they die out?

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