The Two Draculas
The Man and the Ant

This essay is my attempt to compare the two Draculas found in this world. The first Dracula has several problems. The first of these issues was Bram Stoker’s book, Dracula, which was published in 1897. The novel severely muddied the waters regarding the real Dracula. That Dracula was from Romania during the 15th century. During that time period, it was called Transylvania. His name was Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad the Impaler.


Vlad Tepes was the son of Vlad II Dracul. Additionally, the word, Dracula, means the son of Dracul and also means dragon.

The family’s coat of arms

Vlad II Dracul was, by our standards, a bloodthirsty ruler of Walachia. When someone crossed him, he enjoyed killing them by various means like mutilation, disembowelment, skinning or boiling them alive, or decapitation. However, Vlad got his nickname, the Impaler, when he faced the Ottoman Turk invasion in 1462. He captured 20,000 Turks and then impaled all of them.

This is an old woodcut.

This is a newer and more picturesque version.

While Vlad II Dracul was into impaling, he could have been called Vlad, the Connoisseur. It was said that he would eat dinner amid numerous impaled victims and dip his bread into the blood of some of his impaled Turks.

Vlad the Connoisseur

However, in the past couple of decades, scientists discovered a new ant. Its official name is Adetomyrma venatrix. However, this ant’s nickname is the Dracula ant.

The Dracula ant

This Dracula ant can be found in Asia and Africa, especially in rotting and decaying trees. Most of the press coverage talks about the speed of the mandibles or pinchers. The mandibles can be snapped at a speed of 200 miles per hour. At one level, these ants are quicker killers of their prey than Vlad, the Impaler, could kill his victims. However, what fascinated me about these ants was that they liked to drink the blood of their victims, which paralleled Count Dracula.

The Dracula ants will drink the blood of their larvae, which seems counterproductive and blood thirty of parents. The reason for this bloodsucking was due to how the Dracula ants evolved. They developed with a bottleneck digestive track, which meant they can’t swallow solid foods. Therefore, the Dracula ants would remove a part of the covering of the larvae. This would allow them to drink the hemolymph, which is the ants’ version of blood. Scientists describe this bloodthirsty process as “nondestructive cannibalism,” because the larvae doesn’t suffer or die.

The invasion of the bloodsuckers

This video is Bram Stoker’s Dracula

This video is from National Geographic’s essay on the Dracula ant.