Animals

Discover the Dorylus Ant: The Indomitable Ants That Eat Everything in Their Path

Envision a horde of 50 million ants advancing towards you. There are so many marching ants that when they get closer, you can hear footsteps and clicking sounds. Eating primarily insects and earthworms, the swarm spreads out over hundreds of meters. They will, however, devour tiny animals including snakes, birds, mice, and anything else that is unable to quickly get out of the way. These are Dorylus ants, sometimes referred to as army ants, Siafu ants, safari ants, or African driver ants. Continue reading to find out more about these aggressive, interesting, and extremely hungry insects.

Learn about the Dorylus Ant

Dorylus ants are the most aggressive ants on the earth. They belong to the Formicidae family and comprise over 61 different species. They overwhelm their prey in enormous numbers in addition to their vicious bite, piercing sting, and antagonistic demeanor. Driver ant colonies can include hundreds of thousands or even millions of individuals, while common ants in North America can establish colonies of up to 40,000.

Nomads That Hunt in Massive Swarms

Slightly more than 100 million years ago, during the mid-Cretaceous epoch, Dorylus ants began to evolve. These ants are well-known for living a nomadic lifestyle and for hunting in large swarms that cover the forest floor. Insects and other mammals run from the troops as they creep across the terrain. The ants may devour the unfortunate creatures who are too ill or damaged to move. But earthworms and insects make up the majority of the driver ant’s diet.

In addition to swarming the ground, driver ants can climb trees, scale cliffs, and cross bodies of water. They accomplish this by using their bodies to form tunnels or bridges. The larger army ants flank the columns they form, allowing the smaller workers to pass through unharmed.

Dorylus Ant Appearance

Despite species-specific differences in appearance, there are certain commonalities among driving ants. The majority of them have a deep reddish-brown hue. The soldiers can forcefully bite their prey with their powerful jaws and big skulls. Since their wings and abdomens resemble sausages, the males are occasionally referred to as “sausage flies.” The largest ants on Earth are the wingless queens, which can reach lengths of almost two inches.

Where Dorylus Ants Live

Tropical Asia and Central, Eastern, and South Africa are home to the ants. Scrublands, grasslands, and rainforests make up their ecosystems. The ants are migratory and inhabit transient underground burrows that they move around a lot.

Dorylus Ant Life Cycle

There is only one queen ant in the colony, and she mates with males. The workers and soldiers do the labor, much like in other ant species. Not only are driver ant queens the biggest ants on the planet, but they can lay the most eggs. The queens can lay millions of eggs every month when they are in the egg-laying phase. During her lifetime, a single queen will lay 250 million eggs.

While the larger army ants guard the colony with their scissor-like mandibles, the worker ants perform duties to maintain the colony. Almost half of the laborers follow the new queen when she is ready to start a new colony. The laborers may move on to join another colony after the death of a queen.

The Advantages of Dorylus Ants for People and Other Animals

You would not believe that anyone would gain from a horde of millions of fierce ants with strong bites. Additionally, they pose a threat to people, particularly when their course passes by houses. But these ants, without endangering crops, will obliterate harmful insects as they pass through a region. There are relatively few insects, dead or alive, left behind after a swarm of driving ants has passed past.

Furthermore, ants that do infest a house leave it immediately afterward, ridding it of any bothersome insects. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to move aside until the swarm of ants leaves your house. As long as you can avoid them, they don’t pose a serious threat to people, although their bite is reputed to be very painful. They can even kill larger animals, such chickens.

There are other creatures besides humans that can profit from ants, despite the risks. Certain African birds, according to researchers, follow the swarms in quest of their next meal. Following the ant swarms, the birds easily consume the insects as they run from the approaching throng.