B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

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

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death of North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

The Greater Victoria School District and two retired teachers are named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging that a student was sexually abused in the early 2000s. (Pixabay photo)
Former Saanich student files sexual abuse lawsuit against school district, retired teachers

Lawsuit claims student was groomed, abused by retired teacher

(Black Press Media file photo)
Mechanical issues blamed for Saanich car fire

‘Nothing untoward’ suspected, no injuries reported, firefighter says

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read