Fire ants form ‘rafts’ to float in Barry’s floodwaters

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  • David Hu David Hu

Fire ants in Louisiana were caught on camera saving themselves from Tropical Storm Barry's floodwaters by banding together to form a raft. Jonathan Petralama, a weather reporter for, was monitoring floodwaters from an overtopped levee in Plaquemines Parish when he captured video of "fire ant balls" floating in the water. ... Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology said in a 2013 study that fire ants use their jaws, small claws and adhesive pads on their legs to form into floating structures. These researchers said the "ant rafts" are strong enough to withstand waves and are able to break apart and re-link in different formations. Not mentioned in the article is that the Georgia Tech researchers are led by David Hu, an associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Mechanical Engineering, with appointments in the Schools of Biological Sciences and Physics.

Additional Information


College of Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, School of Physics

Life Sciences and Biology
Fire Ants, Tropical Storm, flood, David Hu, ant rafts
  • Created By: ybassil3
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jul 18, 2019 - 2:07pm
  • Last Updated: Jul 19, 2019 - 10:53am