What are these strange ants? Richard Springfield; Ozark, Missouri, USA

To whom it my concern,

Hi, I live around Ozark, Missouri, and heard that their were some nice orchids and morells in this little wooded patch across from the Walmart over by 65. Anyway, I wanted to try to photograph some of them with my new macro lens, when I saw these strange ants, I mean they just looked really wierd. I read a few of you're blog posts, and thought maybe they were those velvet ant things?

Thanks a bunch!



Dear Rick,

These ants almost certainly belong to the genus Polyrhachis. There is a species that is fairly common in Southeast Asia that closely resembles the ants in your photographs, Polyrhachis bellicosa.

It is very strange that these ants have ended up in Missouri. If it weren't for the date, and the fact that you have the same name as a one-hit-wonder from the 80s, I might ask you to take some voucher specimens. As it stands, I'll just advise you that being funny and being cool with the lines is actually not the way love is supposed to be. That's why my girl doesn't like you. You're shallow and narcissistic.

Jesse Czekanski-Moir & the AntAsk Team

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