July 11, 2005

The Red and the Black

There's a park near our house where we sometimes go for walks. I was there a couple of weeks ago with my younger son, and noticed quite a few ant hills. Some were populated by little teeny black ants, but most of the ones I saw were populated by big red ants--they were about 3/8's of an inch long.

Tonight we went back for another walk, and followed the same trail. I kept an eye out for ants, and although I spotted quite a few black ants, I only saw a few red ants--a solitary scout here and there, but that was it. Except for one place, where there was a red ant hill and a black ant hill about eighteen inches apart. There are black ants all over the place, and the red ants I could see were so aggravated they were practically vibrating in place. They were trying to attack the little black ants, I think, but they didn't seem to be making much headway. And they were far fewer in number than the black ants.

Now perhaps there were buckets of red ants hiding out underground; I saw a lot of holes with no activity. It's possible. But it looks to me like the black ants were involved in some ethnic cleansing, with remarkable success. I'll be curious to go back in another couple of weeks and so how things have changed.

Posted by Will Duquette at July 11, 2005 08:17 PM