Ants of a feather, flock together…? OK, bad title.

On Sunday I posted about the flying ants that were in the house.  
I now believe that those were not ants at all but termites.
Why, do I now think that you may be asking yourself?

Well, let me tell you a story –


I woke this morning a little later than usual because it is still raining here and it is quite heavy and overcast.  I typically wake with the birds.  So this morning it was about 6:30 when I disentangled myself from the sheet I was rolled into and hoisted myself from my hammock. 

As is typical of most mornings I took a garden tour with the dog and the cat. 

This drizzly dark morning as I got to the pergola I noticed ‘stuff’ all over and was trying to figure out what it was when my senses started to kick in, this ‘stuff’ was moving, things were dropping on me, and no, not just the droplets of water, then I started to focus and notice things around me….

There were hundreds of thousands of flying ants,
fornicating flying ants,  they were falling from the sky,

I looked further and there was this dark undulating cloud of swarming vermin, they’d ‘hook up’ and drop, 
they were dropping everywhere!

I came back to the house for my glasses and the camera, I contemplated waking Tom and decided against it. So I returned to the pergola and started taking photos – by the way I definitely need a better camera, I could not focus on closeups of these copulating monsters.

I did finally go back and get Tom up so he could see this.  By then the cloud was dissipating, and the fornicators were tiring, wings were dropping, and I was then able to get a few shots

This guy actually came at me as I was trying to take pictures,
it was trying to attack me!

including the Queen who was in the pool!

So now I am involved in minor ant research, trying to figure out just what type of ant are these – do I have cause for concern?  Do I now have new colonies of ants taking up residence in my garden?  And why weren’t birds feasting?  I fully expected flocks of birds to converge and gorge?  But no – they flew by without even a moments hesitation.  I did photo one very plump gecko, but alas it was blurry.  Gotta get a better camera…. 

Oh, by the way, I’m thinking Carpenter Ants!

“Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into war, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves, engage in child labor, exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television.” – Lewis Thomas


About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends.
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11 Responses to Ants of a feather, flock together…? OK, bad title.

  1. Tom and Debi says:

    well, after much consulting and speculation consensus is, we don't know what type of ants these are; could be carpenter or leaf cutter – our best guess!
    Debi, and a large cast of consultants!

  2. Mimi says:

    I snagged some of your pics and sent them off to a naturalist who's newsletter I read. I'll let you know if he has an answer.
    Hugs Mi

  3. Tom and Debi says:

    Everyone wants to know about these ants, me too? the big ones look like carpenter, leaf-cutter, big-head, and so many more – the queen, well I can't find a match for her, ANYONE????

  4. Mimi says:

    Heh, Those buggers had a pool party at our place too. Hope they had fun, as it was their last.
    I was going to comment originally and say how we only had the termites on Saturday (?) Then discovered the floaters.
    Do share if you identify. I'm curious as they look like the ants that are supposed to be beneficial to orchids.

  5. Merida Mikey says:

    Geesh! Don't 'ya just hate it when uninvited guests start fornicating in your backyard!

    As I type, I am in the process of having an interior door replaced due to termite damage! I hate those damn things!

    Am anxious to learn of your final identification of those copulating culprits!

    I think they are giant flying ants, stirred up by TS Alex, but who knows!

  6. Linda Dorton says:

    At our house on Sunday swarms of termites flew into the house, dropped their wings all over the floor, filled the swimming pool, and then they were gone.

    The pics you posted today don't look like the same swarming monsters from the other day. I was sure those were termites. These pics of yours really do look like giant nasty ants. We had a few of these giant buggers in the pool today, but not swarms. I hope at your place this passes with these storms.

    I have been in tropical storms before when swarms of weird things came in with the wind or rain…I can't wait to see what you find out. And seeing these odd swarms and other rare creatures makes me wonder…where were these guys when their nests were stirred up and they were carried off in bad waather?

  7. Maybe a pet Anteater is in your future? (is that one word or two)

  8. Beth says:

    all i can say is … ewwwww

  9. No flying ants here, I am happy to report!
    I don't even want to think about carpenter ants or termites.
    Maybe they are leaf cutters? those are bad enough.

  10. Pete says:

    We are seeing a lot of wings and ants the last few days, not as many as last year, but a lot. I am curious to hear what you find out. I did the research last year, but I don't think I came up with termites. Someone helped us out on the blog – but it is long gone.

  11. Steve Cotton says:

    Interesting post. As you know, new types of life fascinate me. I look forward to your solution.

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