Flying Ants (male Termites)

People are always curious about what we eat in Africa.  Well, mostly things like hamburgers, pizza, chicken, potatoes, typical American meals with Kenyan foodstuffs.  There are occasions however, when the rainy season arrives, and the flying ants emerge.  When they come out, the air will be full of them.  They are really not ants at all, but termites.  At a certain stage in development, some of the male termites in a colony grow to an enormous size, sprout wings and leave the colony.  The kids around here especially love this phenomenon, as it presents a good opportunity to fry a bug and eat it. Supposedly, this is a missionary kid right of passage. (They definitely don’t taste like chicken!)  In all seriousness, these termites do provide a meat portion of the diet for many in some African cultures.

Sorry the picture isn’t the best.  They are frightfully hard to photograph.  The total body length is about half an inch, while the wing span is two or three inches.

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