What causes flying ant days?

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Mathew Killen

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What causes flying ant days?
« on: 04/08/2009 08:30:02 »
Mathew Killen  asked the Naked Scientists:
This week (Tuesday i think) we had a flying ant day, where all the flying ants came out.   We had them where I work in North London and where I live in Hertfordshire over 8 miles away, so they were obviously from different nests.   So how do they know to all come out at the same time and do they come out on the same day all over the country.
Matt Killen

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Offline LeeE

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What causes flying ant days?
« Reply #1 on: 04/08/2009 19:38:01 »
I would guess that it's down to it being the right atmospheric/meteorological conditions at the right time of the year.  With just eight miles difference between the two locations, and little difference in the geography, I would expect conditions to be broadly the same at both places, so the same thing occurs.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!