Flying ants: Fascinating, but gross

Today in London appears to be ‘Flying Ant Day’ – a day in a the summer where young ant queens fly away to find their own colony. The smaller, male flying ants mate with the queens on this day, and die a few days later having fulfilled their sole purpose. But what I found interesting, after reading about it here on the Society of Biology blog, is that the queen ants chew off their own wings! Once they’ve mated they just don’t need their wings any more, landing to go and make their own nest in the ground.

As fascinating as that is, I still find ants so gross! I guess it’s a similar thing to other people’s phobias of spiders – it does seem kind of strange that I’m perfectly happy with spiders but the sight of ants, especially flying ants, just makes me want to itch and lock myself indoors! The fear of ants is apparently called ‘myrmecophobia’, though I wouldn’t say I have a phobia as such – I just wish there wasn’t a day every year where they fly in my face.

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