West Africa is home to a truly dangerous ant, for which even human beings may be suitable prey. There is a strange silence in the densely growing forests of Tanzania. Here you will not find the usual for Africa animals, even elephants. Some accuse local stray ants siafu in this. They are able to fill the trunk and bite into the ears of elephants, thereby forcing the animals to leave the forest.
- This type of ants can leave one skeleton from a horse in 24 hours;
- Despite the fear, people consider ants useful creatures, because they help to get rid of dead people and animals;
- They have no stinger, but they have powerful jaws that can chew on almost any organic material;
- The male siafu (or sausage fly) has huge size, clumsy body and long wings. It is considered to be the largest ants in the world, whose ejaculate is enough to produce 5 million tribesmen;
- It is noteworthy that as soon as a male catches ants’ eyes, he is gnawed off his wings and taken to a new nest, where he will wait for the ripening of the young uterus.
But how dangerous are they in reality?
To date, nomads who have moved to a settled lifestyle have cut down a significant part of the forest. Masai now plant bananas, beans and maize to feed their families. The only danger for the tribes is siafu.
Like other stray ants, they migrate in search of food, but twenty million people go hunting at once for a million animals! The movement of one colony lasts 4 days.
Having settled into their new agricultural lands, siafas usually build nests in soft ground under banana trees. Everyone has his or her own responsibilities. Zemlikopes, who are blind by nature, use their sense of smell and touch to prepare homes for newcomers. They build a chamber capable of accommodating 20 million relatives, which can be compared to the construction of Egyptian pyramids on a human scale!
The new nest has to be built approximately once a month.
After each ant brings with itself a doll or a larvae, they clear them of a dust, a dirt and put in special storehouse. Ants then create a sturdy ring, and a million people gather to release the heat needed to raise the temperature by 4 degrees. The offspring develop as quickly as possible.
Siafu are hibernating for most of the year without leaving their shelters. But with the arrival of the rains there is enough food and ants appear on the surface. Touching the belly of the ground, they leave a smelly footprint that serves as a guide for those behind. The first thing they do is to move on to arable land. Ants have the potential to kill about 2 million pests per day that would starve people. Individuals who return at first glance without food carry in their mouth a nutritious fluid extracted from the bodies of the victims.
And if at night the temperature is high enough, they do not stop hunting. And in the end they get to the human home. Only one thing can help – fire. If you do not destroy ants in time, death will come from suffocation, when the siafu get to the lungs.
Therefore, the most deadly African predators are not lions, and not hyenas, and siafu, ruthless and dangerous insects.