Fire! Fire!

Fire! Fire!

Observation - Fire! Fire! - Southern Africa. Description: The Tropical fire ant is an invasive ‘tramp’ species that has invaded tropical, sub-tropical and even some cool temperate regions around the world (they have been reported from Oxford, England). Although I have not seen them in Cape Town myself, they are

The Tropical fire ant is an invasive ‘tramp’ species that has invaded tropical, sub-tropical and even some cool temperate regions around the world (they have been reported from Oxford, England). Although I have not seen them in Cape Town myself, they are reported to be here; my specimens are from East London. The ant is not only a problem because of its aggressive elimination of local small fauna and the agricultural damage it causes, but also because of its unpleasantly-aggressive behaviour towards humans. Some accounts claim that if you stand barefoot near a nest of these ants they will quietly swarm over your feet and then all sting you at once. We have not tested this unusual claim, but as this ant has been known as a pest since 1804 it’s not surprising that it has generated a few housewife’s tales. That said, its sting is powerful and may lead to dangerous allergic reactions in some people.
There's more about this dangerous invader at www.ants.org.za