Currently viewing the category: "Ants"
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Subject: Wasp, Ant, Other?
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
August 25, 2015 3:07 pm
I have been seeing this bugs around my place and I would like to know what they are? Where are they hiding in my house? Should I be concerned?
Signature: James

Carpenter Ant Alate

Carpenter Ant Alate

Dear James,
This looked to us like a Carpenter Ant alate, the winged caste of reproductive males and females that embark on a nuptial flight to mate and begin new colonies.  We suspect they may be coming from within your house and when they emerged, they found themselves indoors instead of outside.  We once had a colony living in gorgeous, old cedar floor to ceiling paneling in a Highland Park, Los Angeles bungalow, and each year they would emerge.  The head on your individual seemed small compared to most images we have seen, but we found a matching image labeled “Male carpenter ant,
Camponotus sp., Massachusetts” on the BugEric blog.  BugGuide lists the genus throughout North America.

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Subject: Purple Big Ant Like Bug
Location: Costa Rica
August 14, 2015 12:45 pm
Hi,
I found this bug in my backyard.
Signature: no

Leafcutter Ant

Leafcutter Ant

This sure looks like a reproductive Leafcutter Ant that has already shed its wings.

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Subject: Tree Party!
Location: Va Beach, VA
July 16, 2015 5:33 pm
June bugs with ??? Wasp? Hornet?
Signature: Thanks!

Green June Beetles and Bald Faced Hornets feeding on sap.

Green June Beetles and Bald Faced Hornets feeding on sap.

You are correct.  There must be sweet sap running from this tree, and sap with its high sugar content is an excellent food for many species of insects, including the Green June Beetles and Bald Faced Hornets in your image.  It appears there is also an Ant in the lower edge of your image.

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Subject: Winged insect in Batopilas
Location: Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico
July 3, 2015 5:32 pm
Recently stumbled across this hellish creature on a plaza in the village of Batopilas, which sits at a lower elevation in the Copper Canyons of Chihuahua, Mexico. The previous night brought heavy rains and the insects had been washed from their nesting points into the streets in large numbers; it gave me the sense of a spawning ritual, as nearly all were dead or dying. I have no background in entomology so I figured I’d petition you guys.–the answer could very well be overwhelmingly obvious, but thanks for taking the time to check it out.
Signature: Nico

Leafcutter Ant Alate

Leafcutter Ant Alate

Dear Nico,
Your speculation about the spawning ritual is 100% accurate.  This is an edible Leafcutter Ant in the genus
Atta, and they swarm with the summer rains.  Only the reproductive caste of Alates is winged, and a mated queen will start a new colony.

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Subject: Los Angeles: black tiny fly likes water w short clear wings
Location: Los Angeles, CA
April 28, 2015 10:33 pm
Hi,
Thank you so much for all of your service throughout the years. I often make donations & spread the word!
This latest bug is stumping me: We live in east Los Angeles near Pasadena & the SGV (inland)- tonight I noticed approx 20-30 fruit-fly-esque bugs dead or dying in the bathroom sink. They seemed to be coming in through a tiny opening in the bathroom window, so my husband went to the roof to check it out. He said there are thousands on our roof!! He’s spraying now but we can’t find anything similar-looking enough online.
They seem to obviously be attracted to water but do not look like drain bugs.
PLEASE HELP!
(We’re so worried they’re termites but they don’t have long wings)
Signature: Gratefully, Meg

Argentine Ant Alate

Argentine Ant Alate

Dear Meg,
The person who can solve your infestation problem will probably win a Nobel Peace Prize as the solution will improve the quality of life for Californians, the people of Japan and the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, as those are the three places where super-colonies of Argentine Ants,
 Linepithema humile, are making millions of people’s lives miserable, especially in hot summer months when 1000s of Argentine Ants invade homes in search of food and water.  Your images are of winged reproductive queen and king Argentine Ants, known as alates, on their nuptial flight and according to BugGuide:  “Winged queens mate once with a winged male, after which they can continuously produce fertile eggs for as long as 10 years- until death. Unlike most ants, several productive queens of this species can share the same colony, with one or more leaving with some of the workers to form a new colony when it gets crowded (this is known as ‘budding’).”  Here are some good images on BugGuide for comparison.

Argentine Ant Alates

Argentine Ant Alates

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Subject: what is this
Location: Melbourne Australia
April 13, 2015 8:56 pm
what is this bug
Signature: Julie

Bulldog Ant Alate

Bulldog Ant Alate

Dear Julie,
This is a Bulldog Ant or Bull Ant in the genus
Myrmecia, and it is a winged reproductive individual known as an Alate.  According to the Australian Museum site:  “Bull ants are large, alert ants that can grow up to 40 mm  They have characteristic large eyes and long, slender mandibles and a potent venom-loaded sting. They have superior vision, able to track and even follow intruders from a distance of 1 metre. Many species of bull ants have bright red or orange colours on the head or abdomen.”  The site also states:  “These ants can deliver painful stings and are aggressive. An ice pack or commercially available spray may be used to relieve the pain of the sting. If there is evidence of an allergic reaction, medical attention should be sought.”  There is also an image on Oz Animals.

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