1 Tahrcountry Musings: UK - Saving The Red Barbed Ants

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

UK - Saving The Red Barbed Ants

Red Barbed Ants (Formica rubibarbis) one of the rarest native species in UK, is on the decline due to habitat loss. It is now found only in one site in Surrey and a few colonies in the isle of Scilly. The ants are unique in the sense that, they form only all female colonies, or all male colonies. The one nest in Surry is producing all females only. So males have to be introduced there on a war footing if the species is to survive. Scientists will take females from the nest in Surrey, and males from colonies found on the Isles of Scilly in an effort to form breeding colonies needed to spread the species to new areas. Threat from rapidly spreading “slave maker ants” also needs to be obviated to conserve the species. Slave maker ants take away pupae, carry it to their nest and bring them up as slave ants. Scientist from Zoological Society of London(ZSL) are spearheading the whole operation.

1 comment:

sita Raghavan said...

slave making ants poaching on red ants and making them slaves is new info for me. thank you tahrman