All About Ants

The following article is an attempt to sum up all about ants in short. Information presented in the article covers different aspects of the morphology, life cycle and social behavior of ants…  Ants are social insects having more than 12,000 different species. These insects which belong to the order Hymenoptera had evolved some 110-130 million years ago from wasp-like ancestors. Ants are known to be very organized and they live in colonies. A typical ant colony has three types of ants i.e. queen, workers (female) and drones (fertile males). Each type of ant has a specific function to carry out – the queen ant lays eggs, drones mate with the queen while worker ants carry out tasks such as gathering food, building colonies, etc. The female worker ants also have a sub-group called soldiers that protect their fellow ants. All about ants including morphology, eating habits, etc. is presented in the following paragraphs.

All About Ants: Habits and Habitat

Ants are found all over the earth. However, those ants found in Antarctica, Hawaiian Islands, Iceland, Greenland and some parts of Polynesia are not native species. Common colors found in ants are red, black and green (in rare cases).

Anatomy and Systems of Ants
The body of ants is broadly divided into three parts which are the head, mesosoma, and metasoma. The body part which connects metasoma and mesosoma is known as petiole. The head consists of three parts which are the eyes, antenna, and jaws. Owing to the number of lenses which form eyes, the ants can catch movements easily. These eyes, however, don’t provide ants with a high resolution. Some ants form the subterranean region cannot see at all; most of the ant species don’t have well-developed eyesight. Ants have 6 legs and all of these are attached to their trunk. Internal systems of the ant’s body are covered in a protective covering called exoskeleton. Ants do not possess lungs; spiracles, the valves present on the exoskeleton of ants act as entry points for oxygen. Carbon dioxide and other gases are expelled out of the body through the same spiracles.

Feeding Habits
If you are wondering about what do ants eat, then you need to know that young and older ants feed on different types of food. The larvae are, however, fed with a liquid substance by the elder, worker ants. Worker ants travel in search of food and directly eat what is available to them. The food which they bring back is processed (broken down) into a liquid state by smaller ants. It is interesting to note that few adult ants don’t eat at all after attaining full growth. The specialty of ants is that they act as herbivores, predators and also carry out the work of scavengers.

Information about Ants
Here is information which covers almost all about ants regarding aspects besides those related to their feeding habits:

  • The worker ants are categorized into three groups based on their size which are major, median and minor.
  • The mounds built from sand and clay particles act as homes for ant colonies. These mounds protect the ants from rains and other harsh climatic conditions.
  • Not all the ants build their houses with dirt/sand. Some of them dig into wood, just like termites.
  • The queen ants lay eggs for their whole life.
  • The development and growth of a colony are dependent on the survival of queen ants.
  • Ants possess two pairs of jaws; one of these pairs is used for chewing while the other to carry food.
  • Leafcutter is one of the types of ants which are found in South and Central America are known for their special abilities to cut leaves.
  • The army ants continuously seek for prey and are, therefore, aggressive in nature.
  • The life cycle of the ants is divided into four stages which are eggs, larvae, pupa, and adult.

Amazing Facts about Ants
The amazing facts enlisted below present all about ants that is interesting and a bit weird as well:

  • An ant can carry a load that is 20 times its own weight.
  • Unlike the common ants which possess a mediocre vision, the Australian bulldog ants have developed eyesight.
  • Ants resort to fighting in rare cases, however, it has been observed that if they get into fighting, the act (in most cases) ends with death.
  • Ants don’t have ears. These insects can feel vibrations of approaching objects or living beings and act accordingly.

Flying Ants
Flying ants are often confused with termites because both these creatures are quite similar in appearance and most importantly possess wings. Ants with wings are the same as regular ants with the head, mesosoma, and metasoma. Carpenter ants and killer ants are also one of the types of ants.

The information provided in the article presents points that have all about ants ranging from anatomy, feeding habits to distribution. There is a lot to known about these amazing creatures that are so small yet so highly evolved.