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Last Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007, 14:38 GMT
Romantic gesture for museum ants
Leafcutter ant
More than eight million leafcutter ants can live in a colony
Love is in the air for a colony of ants, usually found in more tropical locations in the world, but currently living in a Merseyside museum.

In a bid to raise funds for a colony of leafcutter ants, the World Museum Liverpool is asking people to sponsor an ant in the name of a loved one.

On Valentine's Day, the army of ants will march across a tightrope carrying red rose petals.

A mature leafcutter colony can contain more than eight million ants.

The ants moved into the museum in 2005 and have done so well that it had to extend its Bug House.

The ants live off a special fungus, feeding it with freshly-cut plant material and keeping it free from pests and diseases.

The museum initially had problems getting a dozen red roses as many shop-bought flowers are treated with pesticides which kill ants.


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