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Unusual ants captured on camera

Rare footage has been captured in Cranbourne Gardens of the unusual self-mutilation behaviour of Camponotus ants. Large numbers of ants were seen in the carpark ripping off their own wings in a shocking act witnessed by employees.



The peculiar behaviour recorded is actually a natural part of the nesting process of the Camponotus genus of ant. Their life cycle begins with the “nuptial flight” in which all of the colony’s fertile off-spring take to the skies to find a mate.

After this, the winged males die within a very short time span, while the female queens return to the ground. She then roughly removes her own wings and begins burrowing into the earth to lay her eggs in her newly formed nest, thus marking the beginning of a new colony. The sperm she collected through the initial mating, will be utilised on many more occasions to produce thousands more offspring to populate the new colony.

You can witness this bizarre annual event at Cranbourne Gardens and other natural areas in Victoria throughout the summer season.

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