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Floating Rafts of Fire Ants
“As water levels in a flood rise, the ants will seek the highest ground possible before starting to cling together with their legs and feet, forming a raft that insects eventually tip into the water. The rafts can form in as little as an hour.
The exercise is a communal one with particular roles for each ant to play, the effort is designed to keep the queen safe and allow the insects to hold out until they’re able to find a new place to colonize.
“Those ants that are trapped under the water will collect bubbles to break that surface tension and raise up the raft so it can float. They move around so that no individual remains submerged in the water for long.”
“The queen is kept safe in the middle of that raft,” he added. “The workers are keeping the eggs and the small larvae safe from the water and oftentimes they’re doing that by holding them in their mouth.”