About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ants / myrmex - the Argentine ants as a supercolony

Of course I study ants. "Look to the Ant" is still a great admonition, and it still invokes many of the great Myths of our BELIEFS -- since almost everything everyone believes about ants is wrong. And since its arrival around 1891 in New Orleans, possibly aboard a coffee shipment from South America, the Argentine ant has been savaging the entire northern hemisphere. They are now the most common arthropod in California.

I was amazed to discover a laboratory right here at UCI devoted to the distillation of scents the ants use to communicate. The idea, I guess, is to try to convince them that they are not all members of one massive tribe. If they would feud amongst themselves like their South American cousins, perhaps the civil unrest in their colonies would allow natives to recover and flourish. On the other hand, aren't the fire ants already here as well? Given that choice, can't we suffer the Argentines?