Fire Ants: Is there an Evolutionary Direction?

I got seriously bitten by a fire ant today. After fishing it out of my running shorts and squashing the damn thing between my thumb and fingernail, it got me to thinking. First, I made a mental note to add it to the long list of questions I have for God when I meet Him face to face.

Like, why do fire ants go for the crotch? Why don’t they simply bite you at their point of entry, namely your foot? Why silently traverse all the way up to the groin before attacking you there? Is there a reason behind that? Can an insect truly be capable of such malicious behavior?

My mind then rotated in the other direction, namely Darwin. If he was even partially correct in the evolution of species then why haven’t fire ants, given their taste for human flesh, evolved into something more appropriately sized?

Imagine a Chihuahua sized fire ant. Replace the big vacant stupid googly eyes with those of a more sinister variety – like those with a more deadly, reptilian look to them. Then imagine the dainty, Kibble nibbling sized tiny teeth correspondingly replaced with large mandibles – some two feet across – capable of quickly and surgically removing one’s man parts before eating the screaming remains.

Do your thoughts ever drift in these directions, City Dwellers? Or are these specific kind of existential questions reserved only for those haplessness gringos whose lives have forever strayed across that dirty yellow line into the devil’s own playground; namely Michoacán?

Michoacán. The countryside here in many places more resembles the moon than the earth. There are more rocks per square centimeter than any other place on the planet. Mosquitoes that carry Dengue. Lunging, biting ferocious dogs. Uncountable species of thorn bearing plants. Snakes and heaven only knows what other terrors lurk in the shadows of the scrub bushes I run by most every morning.

Knowing what I do, I still run. And surely the bad men who drive these back roads – off the highway, around the checkpoints to escape detection – marvel at the smiling fool running in sandals and little else; seemingly ignorant to the dangers surrounding him.

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