Swarms of Fire Ants

16 Jan
Solenopsis invicta and alates swarming for nuptial flight.

Fire ant workers swarm defensively prior to a mating flight.

Sexual fire ants typically fly on clear, windless afternoons following a rain.  Workers open large holes in the nest, and then spread out, swarming the surrounding area to eliminate any potential threats.  Male and female alates are urged out of the nest, where they typically climb surrounding plant material before taking to the air to seek a mate.  Below are a few clips of a colony I found swarming on a sidewalk near my house.

See related:

Alates Leaving Home

A Heap of Queens

The Sad Plight of Male Ants

Queen Ants: Founding a new colony

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2 Responses to “Swarms of Fire Ants”

  1. Eskay September 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    when you say ‘sexual fire ants,’ do you mean fire ants that are mature and can fly?

    • 6legs2many September 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      That’s right. The wingless workers are sterile.

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