SINGAPORE Shining their flashlights into the darkest corners of Singapore, a small group of ant hunters searches for an elusive winged insect.
With luck, they are going to discover a queen ant to put eggs and begin a colony underneath the watchful eye of a collector.
“You may seek for just a few hours with out discovering something in any respect. So, it is actually luck,” Leland Tan, 14, mentioned after he hit the jackpot, and located two queen ants in a single evening.
Singapore, a tropical city-state residence to greater than 40 ant species, has a small however rising neighborhood of ant collectors.
Ants Singapore, a Fb group that has grown to 380 members since final December, goals to attach “ant lovers and even those that are curious about protecting ants.”
Followers share tips about catching and breeding ants, do-it-yourself ant farms and hyperlinks to movies resembling the large killer ants in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Cranium.”
Whereas most ants in Singapore are innocent, the bugs are sometimes considered a nuisance. That’s one thing Chris Chan is hoping to alter.
“I would like individuals to take a look at ants in another way,” mentioned Chan, a 29-year-old Uber driver and member of Ants Singapore.
“Now, lots of people nonetheless assume that ants are pests, however with sufficient schooling, I can educate them that protecting ants will be protected,” he advised Reuters Tv.
Chan lives throughout the border within the southern Malaysian metropolis of Johor Bahru together with his girlfriend, her household and as much as 30 ant colonies dwelling in 10 formicariums, or ant farms.
Helen Teh, the mom of Chan’s girlfriend, mentioned she was curious why the couple wanted a lot sand and wooden of their residence.
“He mentioned, ‘Oh Auntie, I am protecting ants.'” Teh mentioned, recalling her preliminary shock.
“Later, after I knew it’s one thing that he loves…I mentioned ‘It is no hurt completed’,” she mentioned.
Chan has turned to social media to advertise his pastime.
He has began a Youtube channel for brand new collectors and solutions questions on ant care on the group’s Fb web page.
Chan additionally organizes ant-hunting journeys to show individuals how one can discover and catch the tiny bugs that he says can maintain his consideration for hours.
“Some individuals can stare at an aquarium for hours. Similar, similar to my ants,” Chan mentioned.
(Writing by Karishma Singh, Modifying by Darren Schuettler and Clarence Fernandez)