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Did You Know – Cocktail Ant

See below the factsheet for the South African Cocktail Ant
Cocktail Ant Scientific Name: Crematogaster peringueyi Description: Small ant species indigenous to South Africa.  Habitat: Diverse habitat, usually found in a forested area. Distribution is along the East Coast of South Africa.  Predators: Surprisingly few due to red colour and irritant fluid. Tend to be preyed upon mainly by birds.  Food:  Worker ants tend aphids and coccid insects for honeydew.  Social structure: Like all ants they form colonies which comprise of a queen and worker ants. There are many different types of worker ant - some work in the nursery, some collect food, some protect the colony e.t.c.  Communication: Unknown, presumed same as standard ant - Using pheremones (scents). e.g. an ant that finds food will leave a scent trail on his way to the colony for other ants to follow.  Male or Female: This doesn't really apply to Ants.Two types of ant instead;   Queen - Body length 6mm Worker ant - Body length 3-6mm, 2 segmented waist, head, thorax and legs reddish brown and black.  Life Expectancy: Unknown, presumed to be the same as a standard ant -  90 days (worker ant)  Did you know? Cocktail ants will build their nests near birds nests so that as the birds protect their own nests from predators they inadvertently protect the ants. Cocktail ants are called that because they cock their tails in the air and squirt on the bite.

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