In this section of our website we like to catalogue various events and items of interest.
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Items of Interest 2011
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Items of Interest 2010
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Recently the outside lights circuit breaker at my house, (in Yateley Hampshire) kept tripping out. I located the source as being in an ouitside junction box and when I took the cover off to investigate I was astonished to find that the whole box had been colonised by ants who had had built the most incredible nest, apparently from grains of sand and soil. There were several sections containing pupae and there was much activity especially when I started to clear the nest out which I did as carefully as possible. The ants immedaitely started removing the pupae themselves. I thought the ants were ordinary black garden ants, often referred to as lawn ants but when I did some research I realised that they must be the ants known as Asian Super Ants (lasius neglectus, who first came to notice in the UK in 2009. They are particularly attracted to sources of electricity as thecurrent makes them produce a pheromone which attracts other ants. Their compulsion to follow it is stronger than their need for food or drink. The ants themselves pose little direct threat to us as they don't bite people or pets but their attraction to electrical circuitry means they could pose a fire risk. They can form huge colonies with nests stretching over up to at least a hectare. Unlike other ants, colonies do not attack each other so an infestation mean nests can conjoin and spread across a wider area. Their habit of creating super-colonies means they pose a threat to native species by out-competing them for food and space.