Generally, Fire ants mind their own business and do not harm anyone. But they will attack with full aggression if their mound or nests are disturbed, whether intentionally or accidentally. In this article we will discuss the sting of Fire ants, how they bite and the fire ants venom. Read on.
When the fire ant or its mound is disturbed, a bite is more likely to occur. If this happens, many more and violent aggressive ants will swarm the threat in few seconds.
When a fire ant bites, it first grasps the skin with its mandibles. Anchoring its body, the fire ant then thrusts its abdominal stinger and venom into the victim’s skin. The problem here is that fire ants sting not only once, but relentlessly. This multiple fire ants sting, which can last up to 7 or 8 bites, usually occurs in a circular pattern around the area where the fire ant had anchored itself.
Generally, as these encounters with fire ants involve several or up to a hundred ants, therefore, the number of fire ant bites can be significant in an attack, what with each one of those fire ants stinging multiple times.
The fire ants stinger is a modified ovipositor consisting of a dorsal stylet and 2 ventrolateral lancets. These structures enclose the venom canal, which is attached to the venom sac. A pair of coiled glands produces the venom of Fire ants, which is then discharged into the venom sac.
Fire ants venom is different from the venom of bee and wasp. 95% of fire ant venom is water-insoluble and is nonproteinaceous. It also contains dialkylpiperidine hemolytic factors which stimulate the release of histamine and other vasoactive amines from mast cells. This results in a sterile pustule at the area of the sting. Due to their toxicity to the skin, pustules get formed.
The venom of Fire ants also consists of many allergenic proteins, which measure about 1.5% by dry weight. There are four major allergenic proteins found in the fire ant venom, inducing immunoglobulin responses and anaphylaxis, in patients who are allergic. Many patients who are victims of sting of fire ants develop wheal and flare reactions within hours that last for up to 72 hours. These lesions may constitute an entire extremity.
Fire ants videos
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