May and June are the breeding season for termites. In areas where termites are distributed, these small insects are often seen flying around.
These winged bugs are the breeding ants of termites. Breeding ants gather in groups under the dim light, and as the night passes, they may only see their wings and drowning companions. It is precisely because they like to go out on a date in the rain that they are also called “water ants”.
But neither termites nor water ants can be confused with ants.
Termites are not white ants. Termites belong to the order of the cockroaches known as “Xiaoqiang”, and are “cockroaches” with social habits; while ants are of the same type as wasps and bees.
Like most cockroaches, termites also use humus such as rotten wood and rotten leaves as their main food source. Ants’ “menu” includes termites.
Among the most soil-dwelling termites, some species can even “farm for a living.” They will use plant residues or their own feces to make mushroom culture medium (the main component is cellulose, which is indigestible by termites), and slowly form a huge spherical fungus garden – they will grow mushrooms with fungi. Silk feeds on, and some species of fungi also grow vegetative bodies specifically for termites, forming a “symbiosis” with each other.
This “symbiotic” relationship between termites and fungi is crucial for foodies. Because many species of these fungi can be described as “mountain treasures”, such as: cockroach fungus, cockroach flower and so on. These wild mushrooms grow from the fungus garden of the ant nest during the rainy season, emerge from the soil, and become a delicacy on the human plate.
In addition to producing food, termites themselves are also food. Many animals believe that termites are a delicacy.
On July 6, Hu Dashan, a fisherman at Yinghai Wharf in Jiaozhou, Qingdao, caught more than 600 kilograms of sea stars, “white mud ants” and other harmful organisms in his breeding area. Two-thirds of his family’s 5,000 acres of clam seedlings were swallowed up by these predatory creatures, which means millions of yuan in losses.
The “starfish plague” in Qingdao waters first attracted attention in 2006. At that time, the loss of abalone breeding in the Jiaonan area of Qingdao alone due to the starfish disaster reached more than 40 million yuan. Last year, starfish broke out again in the oyster and clam bottom seeding area of Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao, with an average density of 50 per square meter. This time, along with the starfish, there is also a mollusk called “white mud ant”.
Due to the harm to shellfish production, Qingdao City has decided to temporarily allow farmers to use ground cage nets and bottom trawls to clean up starfish and “white mud ants” in certain areas.
The scientific name of “Bai Ni Ma” is Jing’s shell slug, which belongs to the shell slug family. It is distributed in the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East China Sea and other sea areas. Generally, its body length is about 40 to 42 mm. It grows fast, and has developed teeth in the abdominal cavity. It can prey on clams, oysters and other farmed shellfish. It looks like a snail with a thin shell on the outside.
Li Chenglin, a researcher at the Shandong Institute of Marine Science, said that compared to the humble “white mud ants”, starfish have been flooding the northern seas for more than ten years. People call such predatory creatures “undersea locusts”. As a ferocious carnivore, starfish mainly prey on economic shellfish such as abalone, clams, scallops, mussels, and sometimes other echinoderms such as worms, sea squirts, and sea urchins. According to some fishermen in Qingdao, “white mud ants” have always existed, but they are rare, so they will not cause people’s panic. “It is not as scary as the starfish. The starfish will lie tightly on the clams and can suffocate the clams to death.
” It is understood that when sea stars eat, they first grab the food with their wrists and tube feet, turn their stomachs out of their mouths to wrap the food, and then secrete various digestive enzymes to digest the food. Therefore, sea stars are very harmful to shellfish farming. Relevant data shows that a baby starfish that has just full moon can eat more than 50 baby sea beetles in 6 days, and an adult starfish can eat 5 to 6 sea clams in 1 day.