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Fire ant on yard-long bean

Posted Oct 04 2009 11:12pm
WW planted some yard-long beans, or Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis, and they have started to flower and fruit.
fire ant on yard-long bean malaysia

But there is also someone else interested in the flowers and beans...
fire ant on yard-long bean malaysia

I'm not sure what the identification of the ant is. I suspect it's a fire ant ( Solenopsis ), because if one of them bites me my foot/hand will swell up. But then again I always react dramatically to insect bites.
fire ant on yard-long bean malaysia

But it doesn't have the darker body associated with the fire ant.
fire ant on yard-long bean malaysia

In the GardenWeb forum there is a discussion on this, and the consensus is that the red ants/fire ants are just licking secretions, not damaging the plant. I'm not sure, the flower that I took this photo of is now withered... Does anybody know?






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