Leonie Edge, in Australia

About Ants 07-27-06

Oh, yes, we have ants.  A local nasty is called a bluebottle. Would be a good inch to inch-and-a-half long, very pretty, like that dark blue chromed steel that's been flame-affected, nasty, nasty bite and they are very aggressive, jumping up on one from footpaths and walkways.  Kill 'em every time I see 'em.  Don't want a child bitten.

We have wonderful honey ants, that live in the desert, storing honey in their abdomens, for other ants within the colony to drink.  The Aborigines use them as a food source.
We have green ants in the Tropics, that sew leaves together by hanging on with pincers and legs, stopping for the night or a few days.  But don't brush against them, incenses the whole colony, they go troppo and attack in bulk.  They are, however, delicious in boiling water, apparently, and produce a lemon/lime tea.  No, that really is true.  Saw it done on a travel programme the other night.
We have brown or sugar ants, very small, that are mostly harmless, and meat ants, almost identical, that most assuredly aren't mostly harmless.
Black ants, red ants, bull ants (again, very nasty, these last), but they are all fascinating.  We also have a spider that looks like ants and imitates them to go into their nests and predate.