Wierd

Swarm of flying ants is so big it shows up on weather map


That’s not a rain cloud (Picture: Met Office)

If you already felt like 2020 was bringing echoes of the Biblical ten plagues, then you might want to click away from this article.

The picture above looks like it shows a rain cloud drifting across Kent, London and the South East – but friends, that is no rain cloud.

Look closer and you’ll see the little arrow annotating the blue area as ‘flying ants’.

There are so many of them that they are messing with the weather radar.

Horrifying, no?

The Met Office explains: ‘During the summer ants can take to the skies in a mass emergence usually on warm, humid and windless days.’

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Flying Ant Day sounds like some kind of national holiday which should be marked on calendars, but in fact it doesn’t have an official date.

It just takes place around this time in summer, with swarms usually only at their largest size for one day.

As we explained in this article, every year newborn virgin Queens in the colony look to start their own colonies, which they need new mates for.

The Queens and young workers workers sprout wings, and move away from their current colony to prevent cross-breeding, while other worker – male – ants also head off in search of another Queen.

If a Queen finds a worker to mate with, she will start her new colony and stay there for the rest of her life, with her wings falling off.

It’s a somewhat more depressing story for the workers however, as they usually die afterwards.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.





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