Driver ants / Dorylus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Name: Driver Ant

Scientific Name: Dorylus 

Dorylus ants also known as driver ants, safari ants, or siafu (in Swahili) are primarily found in east and central Africa, and parts of tropical Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, etc.).

They have the largest colonies of any social insect with colonies numbering over 20 million ants. They do form ant hills lasting from a few days to a few months. When seasonal foods run short they start marching with members up to 50,000. The long colums are formed with the smaller ants (about 0.5cm) in front followed by the soldier ants who are about three times their size. The queen is about 5cm and the males about 3cm.

Although very similiar to army ants, there are some differences. The army ant is smaller than the driver ant. The army ant has long mandibles in the front of their face, while the driver ant has them spaced out the sides of their heads. Driver ant workers range from 1/8 of an inch to 1 inch. Army ant queens are 1/2 inch, while the driver queen ant can almost reach a whopping 2 inches. The army ant workers can range  from 1/10th of an inch up to almost the size of the queen. Army ants rely on their stings to subdue their prey although the large workers have powerful mandibles for ripping their prey. The driver ant can sting but mostly rely on their powerful mandibles for ripping apart their prey. The mandibles of the driver ant have been used as a suture for holding wounds together. Army ants live in Central and South America. Driver ants live in tropical Asia.