Billions of insects show up on weather radar on the south coast

There’s so many flying ants they are visible from SPACE! Billions of insects show up on weather radar on the south coast

  • Swarm of insects hit the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset 
  •  Weather is perfect for ants to move into the ‘nuptial flight’ phase of reproduction
  • A Met Office spokesperson said the ants showed up on their image as a showers of rain because ‘the radar thinks the beams are hitting raindrops not ants’ 

A cloud of flying ants that hit the south coast on Wednesday was so dense it could be seen in satellite images from space.

The swarm of insects hit the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset and were captured on the Met Office’s radar, shocking images show.

Ants were also spotted in East Sussex and Kent. The current weather is perfect for ants to move into the ‘nuptial flight’ phase of their reproduction. 

The swarm of insects hit the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset and were captured on the Met Office’s radar, shocking images show

Also known as ‘flying ant day’ it occurs when virgin queen ants are followed by male ants hoping to mate.

As the queen sets off, she emits pheromones that attract the males.

But when they follow her she will flee, meaning only the strongest are able to keep up and mate with her.

The process helps to make sure her offspring are as fit as they can be.

Taking to Twitter today, users shared snaps of flying ants in their gardens.

One wrote: ‘It must be flying ant day’

Another said how they were all ‘getting stuck together’.

 

A Met Office spokesperson said the ants showed up on their image as a showers of rain because ‘the radar thinks the beams are hitting raindrops not ants’.

It may have seemed like it was actually raining ants because male ants who have successfully mated shed their wings and fall to the ground where they will start new colonies.

Flying ants are mostly harmless to humans, but they do have a strange effect on seagulls who can appear drunk after eating a few due to formic acid they expel.

A flying ant day usually occurs when a spell of wet weather is followed by hot humid weather. Pictured: Rowers on the Thames in Platts Eyot, Surrey today

Although referred to as a day, the mating ritual can last for several weeks in high summer. Pictured: revellers enjoying the sun in London today

A flying ant day usually occurs when a spell of wet weather is followed by hot humid weather.

Although referred to as a day, the mating ritual can last for several weeks in high summer.

By the end, billions of ants will have taken to the skies.

 

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