Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel
Flying ant survey underway
Scientists study mating flight

Scientists from the Society of Biology are attempting to count the number of places flying ants appear in the UK as they swarm across the country during mating flights.

The seasonal appearance of these insects occurs when they begin their mating flight, in their first step to found a new colony. The males and potential queens are the winged ants seen during the summer months, and after mating the females will lose their wings and attempt to found a new colony.

It is of high importance that the flights between nests are synchronised; however, the details about how the ants know when to fly remain a mystery. The survey, running throughout July and August, may help to make sense of it by charting the appearance of the ants.

Dr Downs, the Society of Biology's chief executive, explained: "The flying ants won't survive very long and need to maximise the chances of meeting ants from other colonies to mate with. But how do they do it?

"Do flying ants appear at a very similar time each year, determined by the ants' biology, or is there a lot of flexibility in response to external conditions such as weather?"

The results will be announced during National Biology Week in October

Flying ant-spotters are being asked to submit their sightings throughout July and August on the Society of Biology's website.


Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."

 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New shearing guidance for farmers and contractors

Industry bodies have produced guidance for farmers and contractors on how to handle sheep during shearing to avoid stress and injury.

The guidance includes every step - from the presentation of sheep and facilities for shearing, through to using a contractor and shearers - and aims to ensure shearing is carried out safely, efficiently and with high standards of animal welfare.

Guide co-author Jill Hewitt from the NAAC said: “Shearing is a professional job that takes significant skill. Shearers take their responsibility to protect animal welfare very seriously and it will be a positive step to remind everyone of the importance of working together.’