Sunday, May 18, 2008

Circuit City

Reports at the Times Online (and elsewhere) are indicating that the state of Texas is under attack from electronics-eating ants. The "crazy rasberry ant" (no, that's not a typo, they're named after the exterminator who brought them to attention), which for now has been identified taxonomically only as "Paratrechina sp. nr. pubens," was discovered in Texas back in 2002. Since then, the ant has been a nuisance for homeowners and businesses, invading electrical equipment and sometimes causing it to short out. No one knows exactly why the ants are attracted to electrical equipment, but they are not the only species known to be. As the article notes, circuitry is not the crazy rasberry ant's only sustenance - they also eat everything from lady beetles to baby birds, and even fire ants.

These ants do sound pretty crazy, but not as crazy as the people photographed with the ants running up their arms. That's just INSANE.

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