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

ChargerQuest expands its EV charging network into Kelowna

The new stations can be found at Manteo Beach Resort and the Eldorado Hotel

Kelowna resident warns North Glenmore community of active thieves in the area

Two thieves stole a pontoon boat from a residence on May 23

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

COVID-19 ‘not a death sentence’ says Penticton woman after seeing senior mother recover

Cancer, blindness, a fractured hip, dementia, and COVID-19 not enough to bring Betty Jukes down

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Partial return to class for Central Okanagan students: COVID-19

School District 23 and the Board of Education have released a letter regarding returning to class

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Most Read