Army ants

I just found one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, and I need to show it to someone. It’s the middle of the night here, and I know from experience that people will get really mad at me if I wake them up to tell them about ants, so I’m posting it here. Also, I swear this is related to IF. I found it when I was digging for pictures of a research station in Ecuador for a project I’m working on.

The guy who filmed these things had an Australian accent so I figured I’d be looking at Aenictus, but then I saw the mandibles. This wasn’t in Australia. He was filming a Cheliomyrmex colony. That genus is subterranean, and it is exceedingly rare to see them, let alone get video footage.

If anybody wants to watch it, it’s here:

And does anyone know if there’s a way to go through a youtube video frame by frame? I’m trying to get a better look at the larvae in the emigration column. I slowed it down, but that was insufficient.


Pause the video and press , or . to go back/forward one frame.



Thank you. I just spent the last two hours with my face three inches from my laptop screen staring at ant larvae, and it was awesome.


For those of us with scientific inclinations, nature is a wonder and life in particular is fascinating.

For those of us with scientific inclinations and religious/spiritual/transcendental/“There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy” beliefs, nature is a marvel and life in particular is love.

Thanks for a tiny glimpse of the wonderous infinite of what is.


I’ll admit that the study of ants doesn’t line up with my personal interests. I just found it amusing because your enthusiasm reminds me of myself. I once found this meme image which seems to describe my life perfectly. Perhaps you can relate.