Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Common Red Ant - Myrmica rubra

This is some of what Wikipedia has about them:

They are very common in Europe, and meadows and gardens. They live on a diet of honeydew excreted by aphids, and, being very aggressive like to eat many types of insect and other invertebrates. They will attack any creature that disturbs their nest, but are not as aggressive as the Red Imported Fire Ant.

They are polygynous, and can have up to one hundred queens per nest. They are also polydomous, with many nest sites per individual colony. These queens will have gathered together after their nuptial flight and will have formed a nest and laid their eggs in it. The queens can live up to fifteen years.

Nuptial flights take place normally in late July to mid- August in Europe. Hundreds of young queens and males take to the air to mate together. Afterwards, the males die and the queens shed their wings to make a new colony. No nuptial flights have been witnessed yet from this species where it is living in North America.

The picture is also from the entry which can be found here.

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