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Flying ant day is back

Posted by on August 9, 2012

Flying black garden ants, Lasius nigerSubmit your flying ant sightings!

After the excitement of flying ant day, which happened in the last week of July in most of the UK, there has been a sudden encore and swarms of flying ants were sighted around the UK on 8th August. In some cases at least it appears that the same nests have produced a second batch of males and new queens.

Thank you to everyone who has filled in our flying ant survey – we have had over 5000 records so far which will be fascinating data for analysis. Even if you submitted sightings previously your results from this week will be just as valuable as those from July. We will present the results in October during Biology Week.

This sound track to this quick video explains about flying ants, and my last blog post answers some more questions.

This video gives an idea of the scale of a nest.

And this video from Sussex Wildlife Trust beautifully illustrates the difference in size between the males and the (large) queens.

9 Responses to Flying ant day is back

  1. Rebecca Nesbit

    I can’t believe how many flying ant days there have been? Is it still the black garden ants that are swarming? Some people are reporting flying red ants

  2. Pip

    Third swarm of flying ants this year emerging today from the same nest. Quite a few ending up in large garden spiders webs where they are being well wrapped and stored.
    Many of the flying ants seem to be running around in circles attempting take off but are dropping their wings before they get airborne. These ‘failures’ are then attacked by their non-flying colleagues. All very frantic!

  3. Adam Jewell

    2nd September 2012 15.00pm. Thousands of flying ants all over our cars in our drive, happens every year. its overcast chance showers but muggy was outside.

    Padworth Common, Reading Berkshire.

  4. Graham

    SUNDAY AUGUST 19TH FLYING ants took flight in garden and paved area today about 1.00 pm, Weather was very Muggy and sticky followed by a shower

    Hemsworth West Yorkshire

    • Rebecca Nesbit

      Thanks everyone for your observations. There are lots of reports of birds feasting on flying ants but it’s great to hear of dragonflies doing it too.

      Temperature does seem to play a role in when ants emerge, as does rainfall. It will be fascinating to analyse our survey results in relation to weather records.

  5. Graham

    SUNDAY AUGUST 19TH FLYING ants took flight in garden and paved area today about 1.00 pm, Weather was very Muggy and sticky followed by a shower

  6. Roy Rome

    Flying Ant hatching today here in Peterborough accompanied by the presence of dozens of Dragonflies that were methodically picking off the rising ants at an amazing rate but the release was of sufficient quantity that there were quite a number of “survivors”.

    Roy Rome PE3 8LB

  7. Hartley

    SUNDAY AUGUST 19TH FLYING ants took flight in garden today about 12.15 Weather only can be described as Muggy followed by a shower. LOCATION FOUR OAKS SUTTON cOLDFIELD WEST MIDLANDS.

  8. Margaret Maddison

    Is it reaching a specific temperature in the nest that causes ants to decide to fly? Or is that what you are testing?

    I didn’t see any ants flying here in July & weather was cool then in our area.
    Yesterday ants flew c.1600, after a warm morning and afternoon. Today it was cooler in the morning, but warm in afternoon & local ants flew again at c1715.