Rafting: Merge or Die Fighting

Fire ant raft
Photo: PNAS

Native fire ant areas are subject to flooding. Fire ant colonies form rafts to float on the water and survive until they can reach dry land. Cassill and colleagues* studied the behavior of Solenopsis invicta fire ants rafting on water when two rafts meet. If the ants are from the same colony or from a nearby colony, the ants at the point of contact form links with the other raft. Over time, the ants shift their position so the two rafts transition from a…

Source: Living With Insects Blog

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