[ExI] super soldier ants

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 05:18:02 UTC 2012

On Sun, Jan 8, 2012 at 7:32 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg
> Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2012 3:00 PM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: Re: [ExI] super soldier ants
>>...I wonder whether applying methoprene, the analog to juvenile hormone
> used to induce soldiers, works in the field.
> Hmmm, no I actually meant collecting a bunch of ant larvae under conditions
> where we know their exact age, give them the hormone to create the super
> soldiers in the lab, struggle mightily to make sure some drunken fool
> doesn't let the super ants loose in your office, then take them into the
> field mixed with loam and scatter the soldier ants on the fields with a
> manure spreader or with a blower.

That's what I assumed you wanted to do.

>>...I suspect finding the right slug-loving nematode worms is likely a
> better, if yucky, solution.  -- Anders Sandberg
> Ja, I don't care about yucky, I only care about expense and avoiding
> damaging that good topsoil.  This is a general problem with the high-protein
> crops: slugs and other beasts wish to devour them.  We need something that
> will devour those beasts first.
> Profit margins are slim and getting more so.  If we can find a better,
> cheaper way to rid the oilseed fields of slugs, we can make a cubic buttload
> of money.

When fighting pests with other animals, you need to be sure you aren't
creating a worse problem than you are solving. I was watching a
television show (I think it was PBS' 'Evolution') where they
accidentally released New Zealand flat worms in Scotland, and they are
eating all of the earth worms there, leaving the fields unable to
drain. It's a swampy mess.

If there is anything that will eat slugs, it should have already
evolved in Oregon... LOL... so you might be out of luck. Perhaps
Sasquatch eats slugs, and you have just driven him out of his natural
range... Maybe some loud speakers playing the lucid sounds of Mrs.
Sasquatch in heat will do the trick... :-)


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