Army soldier ants-Advancing military columns

Advancing army ants.

Have you ever observed the irresistible march of aggressive army ants? 

Strength in numbers


The march of hundreds of thousands of army ants, or driver ants, is one of the most awesome spectacles in the insect world.

Any object in their path is overwhelmed by these militant columns; a tethered horse or a lethargic python can be reduced to mere bones in a few hours!

Unlike other species of ants, the tropical army ant does not make a nest but marches, or advances, almost constantly, in swarms that are sometimes 16 yards (14.6 m) wide
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Scouting parties of soldiers with large heads and awesome scythelike jaws lead the way, scenting their path chemically.

The main body of ants follows their scented trail.

Traveling over 220 yards (200 m) in a day, moving only in daylight, this expedition is in action for about two weeks in its voracious and frantic search for food, especially to feed the ant larvae that are carried along.

Then comes a pause in the advance as the queen lays 100,000 to 300,000 eggs; after about 20 days when these eggs become hungry larvae, the migration begins again.

And to think that this fearsome army of soldiers and workers in all their frenzied activity are blind!

The army ant is the ‘new broom that sweeps clean,’ clearing the path of all grubs, larvae or any other animal caught unawares.

Why, some natives are glad to have them pass through their rustic homes just to get a thorough housecleaning!