Friday, November 30, 2007

master of the killer ants

Illustration: Henri-Pierre Aberlenc

The Mofu people of northern Cameroon, Africa, have developed a unique process of defending themselves and their crops against termites and other pests: by calling on killer ants they called the jaglavak (Dorylus) for help!

The Mofu who sees his compound invaded by termites and ants calls on the jaglavak for help. Dorylus colonies are not easy to find. After identifying the nest or colony of jaglavak on the move, the Mofu removes from the colony several hundred to a thousand, or even more, Dorylus soldiers. […]

The Mofu put the jaglavak on the ground within an ocher circle from which extends a path, also traced in ocher, that leads toward the area of the most badly infested house. The Mofu admit that they do not see the jaglavak operate, but they claim that two or three weeks later, the harmful insects have disappeared, and the jaglavak as well, for they do not remain in the compound …

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