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The Siafu Ant

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

The Blind 1 millimeter man-eater

A Dangerous Man-Eating Beast, the Siafu Ant

     There are any number of man-eating animals, but while many of them are large predators like the water bound crocodile or the land born felines or canines this creature is small. It is the size of an ant, because it is an ant, 1 millimeter in length to be precise. Predators really do come in all shapes and sizes, including man-eaters. Although just one ant alone wont do too much damage as its quite easy to squish the little bugger, or a tiny group of them, but imagine an entire colony! And the colony is massive, because each colony can consist of up to 20 million individuals. That's 20 million human flesh eating ants. Not an ant colony anyone is going to want to face, especially without cans of ant killing spray.

Siafu Ant Colony

    Unfortunately, not everyone has access to ant killing sprays, because they live in poor countries or areas where they only live off the fruit of the land. The peoples homes are naught but sticks, grass and leaves in some cases making it so much easier for a colony to get in and begin gnawing on the unsuspecting napper. Even worse, they might find their way to a crib and make a meal of a defenseless little baby. It's been known to happen in parts of Africa where the siafu ant makes its home. Their habitat includes central and east Africa, some making their home even in the tropical parts of Asia.

    It is mostly only people who are unable to move or when the column of siafu ants pass through a home that there is the greatest risk for the loss of human life. If they don't get the human, but the person has a small enough pet, especially if that pet is immobilized that there might be loss of life, because the siafu ants will eat. They'll work together too to cover their prey and keep on biting while its alive and even after its dead till they're all of them satisfied. Luckily they can only move 20 meters in an hour and can usually be avoided easily, save for the aforementioned problems. If one can tell where they're headed they might be able to save themselves, their pets and whomever might not be able to move before the ants get there.


Where Does the Term 'Siafu' Come From?

     The name of the siafu ant derives from Swahili. It is a loan word. Not only that, but it is only one of several similar words from regional Bantu languages which are used by the indigenous peoples to describe different species of ants. These ants are not just referred to as siafu ants, but they, like other murderous criminals have aliases. These aliases include driver ant and safari ant. They belong to the army ant genus Dorylus. While they don't always go after humans unless the human is immobilized or already dead, they still are capable, especially as a group of taking the life of a human. It's more likely that they'd take the life of an infant than a grown person. Were the entire colony to attack all at once and it was one person against them all and they had nothing to kill the ants with, the person could die or at least wind up severely wounded as the siafu ant has a strong bite.

What Does the Siafu Ant Eat, if they Don't Eat Humans?

     The siafu ants diet is far from consisting on human, that's just left to chance. No what their diet consists most of is earthworms. They also have on their menu aside from their favored earthworm meals and their occasional human bite, other crop pests, insects and large rats.

    Despite the possible danger the siafu ants present to humans, they are seen as a beneficial source for farmers farms in Maasai. In communities like Maasai they help with pest prevention by eating a number of the pests present. Thus their diet does not consist majorly of humans, some might never have even had a taste of human at all, except perhaps as a defense mechanism and their bite or pincers sting.


How Does the Siafu Ant Survive?

    The siafu ant survives by being in a colony of siafu ants. When one is so small, safety in number really comes in handy. A siafu ant by itself can be eaten or crushed even though it has its stinging pincer bite. Every creature has an enemy or two. It could be another ant from another colony or an animal that is capable of eating it. The elements can also play a role, like fires or floods.

    The siafu ant does survive by eating, not just little bits of grain, fruits or vegetables, but meat. Immobilized small animals are the best, but they'll eat dead and rotting flesh.

Safari Ants

    Among the siafu ant there are larger individuals and when the colony is moving, the larger solider ants will make a perimeter around the smaller worker ants. This way the smaller ants may move about freely while they are set to attack anything they encounter and see as a threat aggressively. They are fierce when it comes to protecting the colony. They might lose their own life, but not without causing some damage for their bite is strong and painful. In fact when the solider ants bite is removed they leave behind two puncture wounds. Their jaws being so strong, its very difficult to actually remove them. In fact when one tries to extract the solider ant from their flesh or someone or something elses, they often wind up pulling the solider ant in two. The soldier ant, despite this, never releases its grip.

    It doesn't matter that they're blind, because their communication through using pheromones more than makes up for the fact that they can't see. The damage they can case small or immobilized animals proves that these ants don't need any help when it comes to their survival. They're fierce warriors who wont let anything, not even a human stand in their way.

    The siafu ant is definitely one ant one doesn't want to mess around with, especially when its not a lone siafu ant, but the entire colony.


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Comments

Jul 15, 2013 8:08pm
mkomma
I'm glad there's an article on here on the siafu! I remember learning about them in class and watching a documentary on them. I'm already starting to feel itchy.
Aug 1, 2013 11:19pm
alexiafeatherchild
I saw them once on a documentary and it creeped me out. But since I don't live where the Siafu ant does, I feel safe. But, there are other insects that can be dangerous. I mostly see carpenter ants, but sometimes the horrible fire ants are outside.
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