Wednesday, August 15, 2007

For the love of ants

Khudooma from the Emirates Natural History Group had some fun with fire ants:

During finishing my visa paper last month in the British Embassy, I walk to the opposite mosque from the embassy to pray, after I get out and during fastening my shoes, I notice a reddish ants on the floor, they look different, so I wondered if they are new to me, I caught one of them to see if they have any special effect but nothing happen, I follow them to their colony in the mosque out wall, I touched by my finger the door step of their colony and suddenly several ants walked over my finger, The ant tend to grab the skin with their mandibles, and double over their abdomens, and inject their stingers, I clean them out easy from my finger, I noticed some little pain and the skin start to be reddish color in the area which was stung, in addition to little burning and itching, It form later a white sore or pustule. The alkaloid based venom causes necrosis or deadening of the tissues.

I decide to return later with an aspirator for ant collection and a camera to documents them better. These ant are called fire ant (Solenopsis) species (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). In some sensitive people it can cause negative health effect which will need a medical intervention such as our samsum ant which we have here. The huge change in our environment which include 24h running air-condition in some building , and the green areas with continuous irrigation will support many new species of creatures, its need much care when disturbing these ant colonies or mounds.

No comments: