Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events

Fire Ant Raft - Solenopsis invicta

Fire Ant Raft - Solenopsis invicta
Kisssimee River Prarie Reserve, Florida, USA
June 4, 2005
Size: the mass is about 1 ft
This raft was seen floating in a flooded portion of the Kissimmee Prarie. Im prettty sure the genus is Solenopsis, but Im not sure which species, and I doubt that its identifiable from this picture. It was taken from about 5 feet above the subject from a swamp buggy, and there was about 3 feet of water on the ground, so there was no getting a closer shot.

Can you imagine what would happen if something walked into one of these rafts? I cant even think about what to do if that happened, I doubt even dunking underwater would accomplish anything...

Eesh, scary little buggers

I think I'm going to have a nightmare tonight after looking at that.

Great Shot!
I just found this, and although it's been here a while, I wanted to add my thanks for this great photo. Living near Houston, we have fire ants, and I've tried to learn about them. I'd heard that the colony could ball up and float through flooding, but I couldn't imagine it was true. This image is instructive-- worth more than a thousand words!

what about the bottom ants?
what fraction of the ants in this raft have drowned for the sake of the group?

I've seen some underwater pho
I've seen some underwater photography of S. invicta rafts. The ants rotate from the underwater side to the above water side with the queen staying in the middle. Enough air bubbles adhere to their spiracles that they have no problem being underwater for a period of a couple minutes.

Solenopsis invicta
Solenopsis invicta

no I can't imagine!

I heard on one of the early news reports
that there were ant rafts floating around the floods in the Hurricane Katrina-hit areas. The last thing those poor people need. Very scary!

This excellent image should be in the guide, I think - would you like to move it there?

I actually dont see this genus in the guide, and am not sure how to create a new guide page...

Guide page made
There's a new guide page for Solenopsis, so you can move it if you want to now. I've been stung by a couple of fire ants, I can't imagine what would happen with that many. Nice image.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.