B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Here are some ant facts for the B.C. woman who shared this image of a swarm of ants in Abbotsford on social media.

“They were piled on top of each other! Hundreds of thousands of ants! Why do they do this?” she asked.

The answer to her question is war. These are pavement ants, the species only pile into giant insect blobs for one of two reasons: a feast or a fight.

With no food in sight, this looks to be an ant turf-war.

Ant species are very much like humans when it comes to war – it’s all about resource competition. The similarities don’t stop there. Ant colonies are complex cities complete with a division of labour between workers, soldiers and the royalty, their queen.

Ants are one of the most successful insects on the planet. They evolved around 160 million years ago and have filled a large variety of ecological niches. Today there are over 16,000 different species and it’s estimated there are over 1,250,00 ants for every human on Earth. They make up 20 per cent of all animal bio-mass on land.

When a colony’s population grows into the millions, some will launch massive invasions on neighboring colonies to dominate a food source. The attacked colony can either pack up and move their city away or fight it out.

Their warfare tactics are eerily similar to our methods: they use the element of surprise, use scouts, have battle lines, perform raids and some species can use chemicals weapons to poison their foes. One species can even strategically explode itself in battle.

If you hate ants and were completely disgusted by this article, watch the video below of a man using molten aluminum to massacre a fire ant colony and make cool art in the process.

RELATED: Invasive fire ants join the tourist swarms at Hawaii Volcano National Park

RELATED: How do you get rid of fruit flies?

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton RCMP seek assistance locating missing man

Victor Genero has been missing since Feb. 24; he was last seen in Penticton.

Ministry grants SD67 extension to balance books, submit amended budget

The board of trustees voted Monday to acquire outside help to deal with budget concerns

Charges discontinued in 2017 shooting death of Penticton man

The manslaughter charge against Sylvain Demers has been stayed by Crown

Fire crews respond to ‘false malicious’ fire alarm at Penticton business

The Penticton Fire Department was called to a structure fire that turned out to be a false alarm

“Who” dunnit? Penticton RCMP seek midnight masked bandit

If you recognize this culprit and give a hoot, call Penticton RCMP

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Couple in crash on Highway 1 mistake Shuswap for Lower Mainland

Chase RCMP report Mercedes Benz collides with transport truck

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Revelstoke mother and daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Okanagan production takes ‘The Walk’ to explore sex trafficking

The goal is to get people thinking about the situation, according to the playwright

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

Most Read