[ExI] super soldier ants

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Jan 9 06:12:15 UTC 2012

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson

>...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...

Oooh, ja, that's a good point.  Ants will attack and devour earthworms, and
I do know we cannot do without those squirmy bastards.  We might need to
experiment with it.  Perhaps it would still work since the worms are down
there and the slugs are up on the surface.

>...If there is anything that will eat slugs, it should have already evolved
in Oregon... LOL... -Kelly

Nein.  The forage oilseed is an imported crop, this breed mostly from
Canada.  There are a few slugs in that area even in fallow fields; birds
will devour them.  But if you plant a field of oilseed, the slug population
will explode and the birds will feast.  Their most voracious predation will
not even dent the slug population. 

But your point is well made: the ant thing could cause more harm than good.
If we bred ants and they took out everything, I might be paying a damn lotta
money to reworm those fields.  I'm not even sure I know how to reworm a
field.  I suppose it is as simple as a trip to the bait store, walk around
drop one every twenty paces?  I suppose I could get up to speed on breeding

I was told as a child that you can cut an earthworm in half and both ends
will make a new earthworm.  This isn't true, or at least I never could get
two worms to live.  I cut about thirty of them and found that occasionally
one end of one will survive, but not if you cut it in half.  If you cut
about a quarter or perhaps a little more, the long end will sometimes
survive.  Hey it was either that or be used as bait.

Alternately, I could do nematodes as Anders suggested.  That might be kind
of interesting, breeding enhanced nematodes.  I don't get the yuck factor
that squicked Anders.  Nematodes seem like interesting beasts to me.


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