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Old 10-30-2017, 10:35 PM   #1
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Default Army Ants: Drivers of Diversity

https://youtu.be/x7e7QvgpkNc

Not really North American diversity, but this video shows how just 3 or 4 species of army ants in the genus Eciton are the keystone to a huge food web. This video focuses just on one of these main species that forage on the surface. (Their relatives are almost completely subterranean and have very rarely been filmed.) Basically birds take advantage of the fleeing insects from their raids. Certain butterflies follow behind to sip at the bird's droppings for salt which is needed for egg and sperm production, and then there are about 1,000 different types of flies all interacting with all of these organisms and so on....
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:10 PM   #2
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXerHKJLw1I

Another no nonsense documentary on Army Ants. The focus is more on the ants in this one and less about the diversity of animals associated with them.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:39 AM   #3
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Certain butterflies follow behind to sip at the bird's droppings for salt which is needed for egg and sperm production,
So THAT'S why I see yellow swallowtails on scat piles.
Who wooda guessed! Thanks MrIlove I learned something today!
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:54 PM   #4
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Fascinating! Who knew???
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
So THAT'S why I see yellow swallowtails on scat piles.
There are a number of butterflies that prefer to get their nutrition from scat. They are not just there for salt. Mourning cloak is the main example I use in my presentations. I point out that on a warm January day in Ohio, you will see mourning cloaks flying around the woods but there are no flowers so what do they eat? Sap and scat are where you'll find them feeding.

Dead animals are another food source for these butterflies but I can't say I've ever seen a mourning cloak on a dead animal.
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