Ant Fight! ( Sugar ant v. Black ants )

Camponotus consobrinus (sugar) and Ochetellus glaber (black)

I was taking the 2 boys for a walk down to the river on the weekend when we came across a lone sugar ant in the middle of a swarm of about 20 tiny black ants on a patch of exposed sandstone. At first it looked like the small black ants were teaming up to attack the sugar ant, but after watching them for a while it was clear the sugar and was not trying to get away, and was in fact chasing and attacking the much smaller black ants!

The black ants were fast, but the sugar ant was nimble, twisting and turning to catch the black ants in it’s large mandibles. Sometimes a black ant would latch into the sugar ants leg but it didn’t seem to cause the sugar ant much trouble, it would be kicked or nipped of in pretty short order. Eventually all the black ants were gone, all fled, and the sugar ant was left patrolling the rock. It was a good match up.

Sugar ants are common in the area, they’re found around the garden and in the bush. They are largish, around 20mm, but apparently they do not have a sting like some other ants, their bite can be felt but it’s not painful.

Sugar and fighting off a gang of black ants.
A Sugar ant pounces on a much smaller black ant

 

 

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