Obviously, FF has been a little quiet lately. But with the academic year winding down, I am now able to begin posting again. And it’s back to the fundamANTals with this word for Monday Mandarin Meanings:
This is huǒyǐ, the Mandarin word for fire ant, genus Solenopsis. The character on the left, huǒ, is the word for fire. It kind of looks like a fire, too! The character on the right, yǐ, is the second character of the word for ant (蚂蚁, mǎyǐ).
Incidentally, I have not yet photographed a fire ant, but Alex Wild over at Myrmecos has this wonderful picture of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta):
I particularly like his caption:
Solenopsis invicta stinging, an activity this species performs with particular zest. To sting, a fire ant first bites her target with her mandibles. The bite anchors her in place and provides leverage to insert the stinger. The bite itself is harmless, it is the subsequent sting that carries the venom and the pain.