The Info List - Dorylini

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Cosmaecetes Spinola, 1851 Shuckardia Emery , 1895 Sphecomyrmex Schulz, 1906 Sphegomyrmex Imhoff, 1852

DORYLUS, also known as DRIVER ANTS, SAFARI ANTS, or SIAFU, is a large genus of army ants found primarily in central and east Africa
, although the range also extends to southern Africa
and tropical Asia
. The term SIAFU is a loanword from Swahili , and is one of numerous similar words from regional Bantu languages used by indigenous peoples to describe various species of these ants. Unlike the New World members of the former subfamily Ecitoninae (now Dorylinae
), members of this genus do form temporary anthills lasting from a few days up to three months. Each colony can contain over 20 million individuals. As with their New World counterparts, there is a soldier class among the workers, which is larger, with a very large head and pincer-like mandibles . They are capable of stinging , but very rarely do so, relying instead on their powerful shearing jaws.


* 1 Life cycle * 2 Species * 3 In Popular Culture * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links


Some soldier safari ants make tunnels to provide a safe route for the workers.

Seasonally, when food supplies become short, they leave the hill and form marching columns of up to 50,000,000 ants, which are considered a menace to people, though they can be easily avoided; a column can only travel about 20 metres in an hour. It is for those unable to move, or when the columns pass through homes, that there is the greatest risk. Their presence is, conversely, beneficial to certain human communities, such as the Maasai , as they perform a pest prevention service in farming communities, consuming the majority of other crop-pests, from insects to large rats .

The characteristic long columns of ants will fiercely defend themselves against anything that attacks them. Columns are arranged with the smaller ants being flanked by the larger soldier ants. These automatically take up positions as sentries, and set a perimeter corridor in which the smaller ants can run safely. Their bite is severely painful, each soldier leaving two puncture wounds when removed. Removal is difficult, however, as their jaws are extremely strong, and one can pull a soldier ant in