“Those damn flying ants are back again.”
“No matter what I seem to do I just can’t seem to get rid of this colony of flying ants”
We’ve all heard it, seen it, read it in the Red Top tabloids, “UK is overrun with plagues of flying ants!!!”
But what are they? They certainly aren’t a species in their own right.
In reality they are they males and future queen’s coming out to mate. The exact date of this flight varies every year, but its arrival will always be as a result of specific environmental triggers. These ants will take their nuptial flight and mate, where after the males usually die and the females return to the nest to have their wings shorn off, returning shortly to the surface as the classic ‘giant ants’ seen scurrying across the floor with reckless abandon.
From there these newly mated females then strike forth, and depending on their species will either found a colony of their own, or partake in a phenomenon know as ‘cofounding’ to work cooperatively. They may also find a secluded and safe location to enter a state of diapause waiting for the winter to pass and to begin creating their own colony next year.