Thursday, September 3, 2009
Here are some carpenter anthills. The carpenter ants don't live in these hills, or even under them - they are the detritus, or frass, left from their excavation of the dead tree. Looking for further information online, I was discouraged not to find much about the ants themselves - I mostly found info about getting rid of them, which is certainly a good idea if they have taken to your house, but I wanted to learn more about how they chew up the dead wood, and how they make those neat piles of sawdust. The ants had clearly been working hard, because there were several of these piles - I just took pics of the biggest ones. Imagine how long it must take the little critters, with no hands, to chew their way through the wood, even if it is punky, and then move the sawdust out. They don't actually eat the wood, they just chew it up while constructing their nests.
(There is even a website, carpenterants.com!)