One day (That's fine, because it necessarily has to be warm and quiet) on the surface of each nest can be observed unusual movement. Ants scurrying around, gather in groups, though lively and urgent counsel about something very important, and many run on a blade of grass growing in the anthill. And out of the dark output appear large insects with broad transparent wings neatly folded along the back. This male and female ants. You can distinguish them by size: females much larger than males, but the latter are usually more numerous (though, in some ant it is quite the opposite — are emitted almost exclusively female). All of them crawling on the nest, and mount the high grass, and it seems that the mounds and plants caked stirring shiny scales. Working ants whole suites crowd near his winged brothers and sisters, lick them, they make it to the lucky grand air "wedding."
All this is happening on a particular day for us to some unknown signal, common to all, without exception, ant hills neighborhood. Otherwise it is impossible: taken off in an odd day female remain unfertilized. Here's the schedule of summer cruise Lazius nigga living around Isilkul Omsk region, for several years (from the records in my "ant" diary): 1966 — August 7, 1967 — July 29, 1968 — August 5, 1969 G. — July 26, 1970 — August 11, 1971 — August 15, 1987 — August 1.
Day of "wedding" falls on different days of July and August. Consequently, ant calendar built on some particular principle in which is likely to play a significant role weather.
I never saw that on the day of the summer Lazius nigga flew as males and females some other ant species. It turns out that each species its schedule. And maybe, one general, composed in such a way that the air is not going crowding and confusion. In 1971, red mirmiki swarmed into the area three days earlier laziusov — August 12. A huge flock of them hanging in the trees, as a small dark cloud. In such dense swarms laziusov not happen.
Catch the signs of approaching "wedding" laziusov careful observer may advance. Ants begin to build on their hard hills, carrying out particular lot of land, which again takes place after the rain. Is not this fact defines a summer's day? Add-ins are temporary, as they are very loose and fragile. A day or two before departure, some males and females start to briefly leave the nest.
Clarity graphics, however, sometimes smeared some winged ants flying, or too impatient, or specially issued on a trial basis, a chance to participate in procreation of these individuals is clearly not. After a day of general summer can also be seen in the air a few males or females, hoping, apparently, to the truism "better late than never." In very rare cases, when the second half of the summer in dry and rain does not smell, boom ants generally lasts for several days, but with constant and careful observation of a large number of ant hills and even then the "peak day" is clearly visible.
This day formic huge country like flies unknown to us a powerful message. Spreading her wings glistening in the sun, takes to the skies by tens, hundreds, thousands of winged "grooms" and "brides." The air is filled with lots of ants, but emerge from the nest more and more. Not being a professional flyers, they rise into the air heavy and slow. They all start almost vertically, a candle, and when anthill especially rich cruise and years reaches the maximum, it seems from a distance that the earthen mound of smoke. This riot of life usually lasts from late afternoon into the evening, and by the end of the holiday ant birds and dragonflies to dump gorge winged ants.
He goes out to the horizon the sun, and the wedding celebration ends laziusov. Escaped birds' beaks females fall to the ground, the wings break off now unnecessary and even day-two crawl on the ground in search of suitable sites for new housing. And then disappear. And nobody, not a soul knows that in a certain point of land to a depth of several centimeters, completely walled up in a small round cave, a young mother muraviha postpone their first eggs. It is the greatest mystery is given a look only a little, except that patient, experienced and resourceful myrmecology.
Born a new group of tiny six-legged workers — a new family. Another small circle appeared on the vast, unknown to anyone formic map.