Currently viewing the category: "Ants"

Subject:  Allegheny Mound Ants
Geographic location of the bug :  Lewis Center Ohio
Date: 07/18/2021
Time: 09:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these cool ants while out picking blackberries today July 18th.  I had no idea we have large mound forming ants here!   Hope to watch this mound grow it was about a foot across.
How you want your letter signed:  Jennifer Huffman

Allegeny Mound Ant

Dear Jennifer,
Daniel grew up just outside of Youngstown, and back in the 60s he remembers encountering many Ant Mounds in vacant lots.  They would often get to over a foot tall and two feet across.  With the building of many homes beginning in the 60s, many of those empty lots have been developed and there does not tend to be room for Allegeny Mound Ants in landscaped yards.  According to BugGuide:  “The nest architecture is distinctive — large (often >1m.), rounded, subconical, primarily earthen mounds. ”  An entertaining article in the Columbus Dispatch documents exploring an ant mound with a borescope to view inside with a camera. Thanks for sending in your excellent images.  Daniel will be in Ohio next week and he anticipates seeing lightning bugs and picking blackberries.

Allegeny Mound Ant Nest

Hope Daniel has a wonderful time; it’s been a great year for berries here.  Cute article from the Dispatch!

Allegeny Mound Ants

Subject:  Unknown red bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Namibia Waterberg
Date: 03/27/2020
Time: 06:21 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, we saw some of those bug in Namibia located at the Waterberg plateau. These bug were able to fly (very uncontrolled) and had an pulsating rump. Do you know what it is or what it will be some day after the final development?
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Max

Sausage Fly

Dear Max,
This is a male Driver Ant in the genus
Dorylus, commonly called a Sausage Fly.  Of the genus, Springer Link Encyclopedia of Entomology states:  “Driver ants are those army ant species in the afrotropical subgenus Dorylus (Anomma) that hunt by massive swarm raids on the forest floor and up in the vegetation. Any animal capable of moving fast enough and lacking other effective protective mechanisms flees from such an advancing swarm of hundreds of thousands or even millions of ant workers in search of prey. Hence the raid swarm ‘drives’ many animals before it.”

Dear Daniel,
thank you very much for enlightening me!
Kind regards,

Subject:  Spider eating an ant?
Geographic location of the bug:  Fort Collins, CO
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 09:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this lovely spider on my Siberian iris this evening. I can’t tell but it looks like she’s eating an ant, maybe? I’d love to know the species of spider as I haven’t seen one like this. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Sheryl Highsmith

Western Lynx Spider eats Ant

Dear Sheryl,
The spiny legs and shape of the body reminded us of a Green Lynx Spider, and we quickly identified this Western Lynx Spider,
Oxyopes scalaris, thanks to images on BugGuide

Subject:  Winged insect, big, drowsy and erratic behavior.
Geographic location of the bug:  Algiers’ countryside, Algeria. (North Africa)
Date: 06/16/2019
Time: 11:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello sir/madam bugman.
Tonight is a windy night and I left the window open yet the light was off. After I closed the window and turned the light on, I noticed something moving on the floor, and it was the insect of which I am joining pictures to this letter. Its movement were “goofy” and when I put it on a sheet of paper I noticed that its legs did not stick well to paper, I mean, it fell off as the angle or the slope of the sheet gets stiffer. And also,it tends to roll its abdomen a lot.
I mean no offense to you or to that creature, but I don’t like it. I swear though, I didn’t kill it, I released it to the outside.
Thanks in advance.
Take care.
I love you.
How you want your letter signed:  Ahmed B. Otsmane

Sausage Fly

Dear Ahmed,
Luckily, we have now identified male Driver Ants or Sausage Flies enough times that we only need to link to our own archives, but the first time we received an identification request for this very unusual insect, we were quite puzzled ourselves.  According to Alex Wild on his Diversity of Insects website:  “
Dorylus is an African and Asian genus of nomadic predatory ants. The surface-foraging species conduct spectacular raids and are often referred to as driver or safari ants.”  Because of your catch and release actions, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Dear Daniel,
I would like to thank you for your efforts. I really appreciate your reply. I love you even more now, guys.

Subject:  Ant Queen Shedding Her Wings
Geographic location of the bug:  Missouri, USA
Date: 06/05/2019
Time: 08:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve seen plenty of queens but never found one in the process of leaving her wings behind! I thought you might like to see. sadly my video didn’t turn out well, but I got these pictures of her that aren’t too bad. (my camera isn’t made for macro, sorry!)
How you want your letter signed:  Michael

Carpenter Ant Queen

Dear Michael,
Thanks so much for sending your image of a female Carpenter Ant shedding her wings.


Subject:  I think these are eggs….
Geographic location of the bu:  Ontario Canada
Date: 12/24/2018
Time: 05:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, I have a vivarium for Poison Dart Frogs and found some small white nodules growing under a piece of wood. My hope is that this is some sort of fungus or mold. But my concern is that these are the eggs of some bug that could do harm to my frogs or their eggs.
The piece of wood was harvested many years ago from a forest in Ontario. I included a picture of the wood with suspicious object, as well as a picture of my cute frog!
Happy Holidays
How you want your letter signed:  Jason Kemp

Growth in Dart Frog Vivarium

Dear Jason,
These do not appear to be eggs, and we believe your suspicion that they might be fungus or mold is probably correct.  Friends of ours in the Los Angeles area formerly bred Poison Dart Frogs.  They had several pairs that bred in bromeliads, but alas, the vivariums were discovered by invasive Argentine Ants that killed the frogs.