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
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. For example, driver ants prey on larvae of the African sugarcane borer, a pest moth in sub-Saharan Africa, and are used as a form on pest control. 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 two without it releasing its hold. Large numbers of ants can kill small or immobilized animals and eat the flesh. A large part of their diet is earthworms. All Dorylus species are blind, and, like most varieties of ants, communicate primarily through pheromones. In the mating season, alates (winged drones, queens of real driver-ant species do not grow wings) are formed. The drones are larger than the soldiers and the queens are even larger. Real driver ants do not perform a nuptial flight, but mate on the ground, and the queens go off to establish new colonies. As with most ants, workers and soldiers are sterile (non-reproducing) females.
A male driver ant
Male driver ants, sometimes known as "sausage flies" (a term also
applied to males of
A column of safari ants in Kakamega Forest, Kenya, guarded by soldiers
D. acutus Santschi, 1937 D. aethiopicus Emery, 1895 D. affinis Shuckard, 1840 D. agressor Santschi, 1923 D. alluaudi Santschi, 1914 D. atratus Smith, 1859 D. atriceps Shuckard, 1840 D. attenuatus Shuckard, 1840 D. bequaerti Forel, 1913 D. bishyiganus (Boven, 1972) D. braunsi Emery, 1895 D. brevipennis Emery, 1895 D. brevis Santschi, 1919 D. buyssoni Santschi, 1910 D. congolensis Santschi, 1910 D. conradti Emery, 1895 D. depilis Emery, 1895 D. diadema Gerstaecker, 1859 D. distinctus Santschi, 1910 D. ductor Santschi, 1939 D. emeryi Mayr, 1896 D. erraticus (Smith, 1865) D. faurei Arnold, 1946 D. fimbriatus (Shuckard, 1840) D. fulvus (Westwood, 1839) D. funereus Emery, 1895 D. furcatus (Gerstaecker, 1872) D. fuscipennis (Emery, 1892) D. gaudens Santschi, 1919 D. ghanensis Boven, 1975 D. gribodoi Emery, 1892 – includes D. gerstaeckeri Emery, 1895 D. helvolus (Linnaeus, 1764) D. katanensis Stitz, 1911 D. kohli Wasmann, 1904 D. labiatus Shuckard, 1840 D. laevigatus (Smith, 1857) D. lamottei Bernard, 1953 D. leo Santschi, 1919 D. mandibularis Mayr, 1896 D. mayri Santschi, 1912 D. moestus Emery, 1895 D. molestus Wheeler, 1922 D. montanus Santschi, 1910 D. niarembensis (Boven, 1972) D. nigricans Illiger, 1802 D. ocellatus (Stitz, 1910) D. orientalis Westwood, 1835 D. politus Emery, 1901 D. rufescens Santschi, 1915 D. savagei Emery, 1895 D. schoutedeni Santschi, 1923 D. spininodis Emery, 1901 D. stadelmanni Emery, 1895 D. stanleyi Forel, 1909 D. staudingeri Emery, 1895 D. striatidens Santschi, 1910 D. termitarius Wasmann, 1911 D. titan Santschi, 1923 D. vishnui Wheeler, 1913 D. westwoodii (Shuckard, 1840) D. wilverthi Emery, 1899
In popular culture Driver ants are mentioned in the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where they are shown attacking, killing and presumably consuming a fully grown man and are referred to as “big damn ants.” In reality, while there are recorded cases of driver ants attacking infants and immobile persons, deaths of healthy adults have never been recorded. In addition, the supposed location in the film, the Amazon valley, is not remotely within the driver ant's range. See also
^ Bolton, B. (2014). "Dorylus". AntCat. Retrieved 17 July 2014. ^ Swahili translation Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b c d e f Hölldobler, Bert; Wilson, Edward O. (1990). The Ants. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-04075-9. ^ a b Master of the Killer Ants ^ Hastings, H.** Conling, D.E., Graham, D.Y.* & (1988-03-01). "Notes on the natural host surveys and laboratory rearing of Goniozus natalensis Gordh (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae), a parasitoid of Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larvae from Cyperus papyrus L. in Southern Africa"(PDF). Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern ^ Biotropics Archived January 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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v t e
Kingdom Animalia Phylum Arthropoda Class Insecta Order Hymenoptera Family Formicidae
Agroecomyrmecinae Amblyoponinae Aneuretinae Apomyrminae Dolichoderinae Dorylinae Ectatomminae Formicinae Heteroponerinae Leptanillinae Martialinae Myrmeciinae Myrmicinae Paraponerinae Ponerinae Proceratiinae Pseudomyrmecinae
†Armaniinae †Brownimeciinae †Formiciinae †Sphecomyrminae
List of ant genera
Wd: Q1352647 ADW: Dorylus EoL: 10904213 EPPO: 1DORLG Fauna Europaea: 81551 GBIF: 1317800 iNaturalist: 135301 ITIS: 5