[leps-talk] Cut Off, LA - 4/24/02

Erik Runquist erunquist at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 30 05:02:32 EDT 2002

Technically the bite is not the nasty part of the fire ant.  They use their 
mandibles to lift up a patch of skin and then curl their abdomen around and 
BAM.  Its the sting of formic acid that sends you scampering!! Not that I've 
ever sat still and watched the whole process! I never knew I could dance as 
well as after stepping on mounds in sandals. Like you Anne, I've never been 
able to resist the urge NOT to scratch. Having grown up in the Northwest but 
gone to college in Florida, I thank my lucky charms that they have not yet 
invaded the Northwest!!  Nasty creatures!
  Thankfully in Oregon,

>From: Anne Kilmer <viceroy at GATE.NET>
>Reply-To: Anne Kilmer <viceroy at GATE.NET>
>To: Leptraps at aol.com
>CC: legitintellexit at earthlink.net, MWalker at gensym.com, 
>agrkovich at tmpeng.com,   leps-l at lists.yale.edu, 
>TILS-leps-talk at yahoogroups.com
>Subject: Re: [leps-talk] Cut Off, LA - 4/24/02
>Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 05:47:19 +0100
>Leptraps at aol.com wrote:
>>Back in the early 1980s, a fine fellow by the name of Vince Lucas joined 
>>on a
>>late November trip to south Florida. During a stop at the I.F.A.S. Station 
>>Homestead, Vince and I were working the Loquat trees for Chlorostrymon
>>Maesites and C. simaethis when Vince stopped to paper his catch. He sat on 
>>fire ant mound. Fire ants can be sexy buggers!
>>As a result, Vince still holds the world record for removing ones pants, 
>>is even faster than the great Bill Clinton!
>>Leroy C. Koehn
>>202 Redding Road
>>Georgetown, Kentucky
>>USA          40324-2622
>>Tele.: 502-570-9123
>>Cell: 502-803-5422
>>E-mail: Leptraps at aol.com
>>"Let's get among them"
>Leroy, some of these folks have not encountered fire ants. I suspect
>they will meet some, when they go down to the Keys with you to check out
>the Blues.
>So ... what fire ants do is very quietly tiptoe up your legs, inside
>your trousers ... hundreds of them, tiptoe, tiptoe. Then somebody yells
>"Fire!!!!" and they all bite at once.
>And they keep biting, and some of them are on your shoes, and many of
>them are in places some of us don't have, and the pain is exquisite, and
>it will keep on hurting for weeks and weeks.
>I am told that the lesions heal up faster if you don't scratch those
>little white blisters. I wouldn't know.
>I haven't encountered fire ants in many years, since they moved out of
>my yard when the white-footed ants, Technomyrmex albipes, moved in.
>Those ants tend insects, and I'd sure like to know whether they tend
>blue butterflies. If they do, we may have a solution to the
>bethunebakeri/ant problem.
>"Let's get among them" indeed.
>Anne Kilmer
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