Poll: Which colony wins?
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Yellowjackets
33.33%
1 33.33%
Fire ants
66.67%
2 66.67%
Total 3 vote(s) 100%
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Eastern yellowjacket colony vs RIFA colony
#1
Eastern yellowjacket
The eastern yellow jacket or eastern yellowjacket (Vespula maculifrons) is a wasp found in eastern North America. Although most of their nests are subterranean, they are often considered a pest due to their nesting in recreational areas and buildings. This yellow jacket is a social insect, living in colonies of hundreds to thousands of individuals. Along with their subfamily, Vespinae, this species demonstrates supportive parental care for offspring, separation of reproductive and sterile castes, and overlapping generations. They aggressively defend their hives from threats and are known to inflict painful stings. Individuals of this species range in size from 12.7–15.9 mm (0.5–0.625 in) and weigh roughly 0.0014 oz (0.04 g).
[Image: 615px-48085134.yellowj.web.jpg]

Red imported fire ant
The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), also known as the fire ant or RIFA, is a species of ant native to South America. The red imported fire ant has been accidentally introduced in Australia, New Zealand, several Asian and Caribbean countries, and the United States. This ant is viewed as a notorious pest, causing billions of dollars in damages annually and impacting wildlife. The ants thrive in urban areas, so their presence may deter outdoor activities. Nests can be built under structures such as pavements and foundations, which may cause structural problems, or cause them to collapse. Not only can they damage or destroy structures, but red imported fire ants also can damage equipment and infrastructure and impact business, land, and property values. As workers are attracted to electricity, they can swarm electrical equipment and destroy it. In agriculture, they can damage crops, damage machinery, and threaten pastures. They are known to invade a wide variety of crops, and mounds built on farmland may prevent harvesting. They also pose a threat to animals and livestock, capable of inflicting serious injury or killing them, especially weak or sick animals. Despite this, they may be beneficial because they consume common pest insects on crops. Workers measure between 2.4 and 6.0 mm (0.094 and 0.236 in).
[Image: 335px-Fire_ants_01.jpg]

We will use a yellowjacket colony with 3000 workers and a fire ant colony with 10000 workers. The nests are in a grassy field, about 10 meters apart.
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#2
That is a bit over 3 ants for each Wasp, while larger ants would have the advantage that being larger gives, I am a bit unsure how well the Wasps could actually kill these tiny Ants.
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#3
Their sting would indeed not be effective against foes of that size, but their jaws should be quite enough to kill a fire ant. They can easily tear to pieces other insects.






So I think they could bite an ant of that size in half.

IMO, the wasps would have these advantages:
-Bigger.
-Can fly, and thus attack the ants from above, as well as move from a nest to the other much faster.
-While their sting would not be very effective here, they have a more dangerous bite.

And the ants:
-Numerical advantage.
-Can both bite and sting.
-Better at cooperating.
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#4
I moved this thread here in the hope of getting more posts!
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
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#5
Yellow Jackets may be a lot bigger and have the ability to fly, but one thing they don't do very quickly is move around on the ground. Fire Ants, on the other hand, are really quick. The little wasps would have trouble catching an ant, while the ants, even though they are tiny, all have the ability to kill a wasp by stinging it. I see the ants swarming over a Yellow Jacket nest and killing most of them, while driving the remaining survivors to fly away.
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#6
Actually, yellowjackets have little trouble catching smaller ants, but they usually don't kill them.
Quote:Angry Wasps Capture Intruding Ants, Fly Away, Airdrop Them

[Image: aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1h...MyOS5qcGc=]
Yellowjacket wasps like these have invaded the South Island of New Zealand, where they've developed an unusual method of dealing with competitor ants.

What's a wasp to do when ants are ruining its picnic? Pick the little pests up and airdrop them out of the way, according to a new study.

That's the strategy of the common yellow jacket wasp when competing with ants for food, researchers report today (March 29) in the Journal of the Royal Society Biology Letters.

The wasp, also known as Vespula vulgaris, is native to the Northern Hemisphere, but has invaded temperate areas in the Southern Hemisphere, including New Zealand, where the drag-and-drop behavior was observed.

This is the first time wasps have been seen physically relocating ants in an attempt to compete for food, said study author Julien Grangier, a postdoctoral fellow at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. The unexpected flight, which leaves ants confused but usually unharmed, also reveals the invasive wasps' cleverness, Grangier said.

"Our results suggest that these wasps can assess the degree and type of competition they are facing and adapt their behavior accordingly," Grangier told LiveScience.

Ant vs. wasp

Ants and wasps battle relatively frequently, said Robert Jeanne, an entomologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who was not involved in the study. Wasps have even been seen picking up and dropping ant scouts that show up near nests looking to snack on wasp larvae, he said. But those are defensive — not competitive — behaviors.

"This case here is unusual in that it's really clearly a case of competition," Jeanne told LiveScience.

The South Island of New Zealand is a hot spot for the invasive wasps. In the forests on the island, aphids and other tiny insects feed on beech tree sap. These bugs have little use for the sugars the sap contains, so they excrete those sugars as a sticky liquid called honeydew. Ants and wasps, on the other hand, love honeydew.

Grangier and his colleagues wanted to understand how the invasive wasps compete with native ants for food. So they set up cameras at 48 stations baited with canned tuna (since protein is in shorter supply than sugar in the honeydew-rich forests). All but three of the stations attracted both wasps and ants.

Ant airdrops

Over the course of the months-long study, ants and wasps crossed paths more than 1,000 times. Most of the time, the two species quickly went their separate ways. But in a quarter to a third of cases, the interactions were far less civil.

"The first surprise was to see that despite being 200 times smaller, the ants are able to hold their own by rushing at the wasps, spraying them with acid and biting them," Grangier said. "But the most amazing was to observe that wasps, apparently frustrated by having to compete with ants, will pick them up in their mandibles, fly off and drop them away from the food."

[Image: aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1h...E0Mzg1NjA=]
In this series of video stills, a wasp picks up and drops an ant to get it away from a pile of food.

The researchers saw the involuntary ant flights 62 times at 20 different bait stations. The wasps didn't bother to take the  ants far, usually dropping them only a few centimeters from the tuna. But that was enough. About 47 percent of the time, the discombobulated ants never made it back to the tuna. Even when the ants did make it back, the wasps beat them there 75 percent of the time.

If the ant-dropping was explained by competition, Grangier said, it would increase when the food was in shorter supply. The researchers watched the videos frame-by-frame, counting the number of ants and wasps present during the airdrop episodes.

"We found that, as the number of ants on the food increases, so does the frequency of ant-dropping and the distance the ants are taken," Grangier said. "Our results thus show very clearly that by dropping ants away, these wasps try to facilitate their access to the food resources and to gain more for themselves, and they do it in a very effective manner."

Unwanted insects

The wasps could try to kill the ants, but relocating them is probably a safer option, Jeanne said. For one thing, he said, "there's not a lot of meat on an ant," making them useless as wasp prey. And then there's the tendency of the native New Zealand ant (Prolasius advenus) to spray attackers with an acidic chemical cocktail.

"If the wasp was to bite into an ant to crunch it and kill it, it would probably get a mouthful of some of these compounds," Jeanne said. "It wouldn't be a pleasant experience."

[Image: aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1h...AxNDM4OTEy]
Rather than kill acid-spewing ants, yellowjackets simply relocate them.

Although the wasps are all over the globe, he said, these airborne food competitions seem to be unique to New Zealand. That may be because wasps are so abundant in the beech forests there that food competition has become particularly cutthroat, Jeanne said.

So far, attempts to beat back the invasive wasp have been unsuccessful, Jeanne said, but understanding the competition between species could help.

"The more we know about the behavior of an invasive species or interactions with other species like this, the more likely we are to find an Achilles heel," Jeanne said.
Source: https://www.livescience.com/13469-embarg...rdrop.html

Unlike these ants, though, fire ants don't spray formic acid. Also, in an all out war, I think the wasps would care less about tasting noxious compounds than when just competing for some food.
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#7
https://youtu.be/l-uYqn6Vk5Q

Green Ants vs paper wasps, 3 to 1 seems to be the point where they're evenly matched. I'm the above video the wasps attacked the ants brood and thus forced them to give up fighting to save their young and take them away but in an all out fight like this it could easily go both ways
[Image: giphy.gif]
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#8
Found an article which says that, when it comes to defending their food (in this case, seeds) from yellowjackets, RIFA are the best among the three species of ants studied.
Quote:Yellow Jackets May Be An Underestimated Component Of An Ant-Seed Mutualism
Yellow jackets (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) are attracted to the typically ant-dispersed seeds of trilliums and will take seeds from ants in the genus Aphaeogaster. To determine if yellow jacket, Vespulla maculifrons (Buysson), presence interferes with seed foraging by ants, we presented seeds of Trillium discolor Wray to three species (A. texana carolinesis Wheeler, Formica schaufussi Mayr, and Solenopsis invicta Buren) of seed-carrying ants in areas where vespids were present or excluded. We found that interspecific aggression between yellow jackets and ants is species specific. (...) In the seed-seizing experiment, we found that yellow jackets seized 25% (5/20) of the seeds carried by A. texana carolinesis, but not as many from F. schaufussi (7% or 1/15) and fire ants (5% or 1/20).
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication..._Mutualism
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