Ants are eusocial insects of the superfamily Formicoclassea, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Today, a number of these insects has 8800 species. The most common species that can be found at our dwellings is fire ant. It can be found absolutely on all continents.
Table of Contents
Ants eggs and life cycle.
Color: Red, yellow. black and others.
Movement: Some fly
Shape: Long, segmented
Size: 1mm-12 mm.
Life span:1-5 years
Region:Found throughout U.S. and other countries
Ants have distinct hierarchy in their families. There you can found mature females, working units (soldiers) and males. Females lay fertilized and unfertilized eggs. From one females and soldiers are born, from others only males. Women are much bigger than its congeners. Their body’s length reaches up to 4 mm (males on average are half the size of females). In addition, the status of ant in the family can be defined by its colouring. Soldiers have a bright gold tone, females are slightly darker and males are black in colour. After female has laid eggs, soldiers bite her wings off. One laying has up to 400 eggs, but only a quarter will become adults. Larvae are nursed and fed by ants-soldiers. If the family moves to a new nest, the soldiers carry young ants and unhatched eggs to a new place of residence. Males and females almost never leave the nest. The total number of family can consist of more than one million individuals. Out of them there may be around 200 sexually mature queens. The annual replenishment in the family is 30000 individuals.
Ant nest.Ant nests differ greatly from those of bees and wasps. These are not symmetric structures of geometrically correct cells, but a complex networks of tunnels and chambers of different size. Whether these are underground mazes or facilities made from plant fibers and particles of the soil, their structure is identical. It must be warm and humid in ants’ nest. Mounds of earth built by ants serve to trap the sun’s heat and function as miniature greenhouses. Some ants collect small pebbles, pieces of charcoal and dead plants and stack them on the surface of the nest as solar collectors. Ants build nests in places chosen according to their thermal conditions. For example, in cool weather they can be attracted by a rock, heated with the sun.Ants
can partly optimize their temperature conditions by moving inside of th
Where do ant live? Ants can live not only in the wild. Often they can be found in residential areas, hospitals, warehouses and public catering. You can find them under the plinths, in containers with remains of food, underwear, even under facing tiles. These insects are very dependent on food and water availability. Without regular meals ant dies in three days. It is worth noting that not all ants prefer to live in families. Some species organize colonies, while others prefer to combine by separating the new colony from an existing family. In addition to being bad neighbors, ants are able to deliver more serious inconveniences. They can be carriers of a number of dangerous infectious diseases.
Species of ants
Camponotus vagus is one of the largest species, which you can find in the US. Carpenter ants are social, i.e. they live in colonies and have several adult “castes” that perform different work in the colony. The queen usually reaches one and a half centimeters in length. There are soldiers of several sizes from 0.5 to 1 cm. All these individuals are adults, regardless of their size, but only the queen gives the offspring in the nest. Black carpenter ant, the most commonly found in homes, is mainly of a black colour.
Little Black Ants
This ant species is the most common around the globe. They can be found on the farmland and in the center of the metropolis. The whole body is covered with tiny hairs. Most often black ants construct the anthill in the ground with a hill on the surface. Widely known are cases when they live under stones or mouldering stubs. As a food they prefer special sweet mucilage, which allocates the aphid. It is worth saying that this is the aphids that are bred by ants as pets.
This species of ant more often coexists with a man in house. They live under wall-paper, plinths, wall tiles, walls, overlappings of different building. As a rule, they create small colonies. Body length of an adult male barely reaches 2 mm, females are somewhat larger — body length is up to 4 mm.
This species of ant was introduced in our geographical latitude from South America. We used to call these insects fire ants. They got its name because of the bright red colour of the body. Adult length varies from 3 to 6 mm.They mainly live in the soil or in other places with high humidity. The basis of the diet of these insects are small plants, seedlings and other insects. Red ants can behave aggressively, but their venom helps them to cope with the opponent that exceeds them in size. They are predators by nature. Favorite dishes for them are caterpillars and other rivals beaten in an unequal battle. Though rarely, but forest ants may even attack small animals.
You must also know this species. These small insects are the main household pesticides to humans. For the first time archaeologists found them in Egyptian tombs of the Pharaohs. That is the reason this species another more memorable name – ants-pharaohs. Also called as house ants.Yellow ants prefer to inhabit the dark, moist and warm places. Examples of their homes are holes in the walls, floor, various appliances, vases, space under wallpaper and more. These ants arrange multiple nests, connected by special ant trails. That is, if you decide to exterminate one socket, insects quietly transfer to another and continue annoying you. Full extermination is rather problematic.
This ant species is quite popular. Its representatives belong to the subfamily Formicinae. This kind of insect is distinguished by blatant parasitic characteristics in relation to their own kin.The fact of the matter is that adult Amazon ants steal eggs and larvae of other ants with a purpose of obtaining a free workforce. They do it only because their class hierarchy does not include individuals-workers.
This tiny yellow ant from Egypt was described by Linnaeus in year 1758. In 1828, this ant was first discovered in England. There he settled under the plates of traditional English fireplaces. And from that time began to settle rapidly all over the world. Tiny (2 – 2,5 mm length) ants penetrate everywhere and in all products.
If you have ever come across the flying ants, then it were probably black garden ants. Adult males and queens have wings. These insects leave the nest in which they were born and grew up, and fly away. The flight itself is called the marriage; during it males mate with the queens and then die.
How long do ants live
The average life of a worker ant is 3-5 years. Small individuals tend to live longer than large ones. Lifespan of males is very short, usually it is just a couple of weeks. Their main function is involvement in reproduction, after which they die. The longest lifespan has the ant queen. Some of them can live up to 20 years. In general ants are an example of altruism and complete sacrifice for the well-being of the colony. Each of them is ready to die defending the anthill from the enemy, and each with all his short or long life selflessly toils. It is not surprising that it is the ants that are the most numerous insects on the Earth today, and outnumber any other group of arthropods.
Enemies and cohabitants ants.
Though people have admired ants fro quite a long time, it is not always easy to get along with them. The United States carry the long-standing struggle with fire ants. Their venom contains alkaloid, therefore bites are very painful and dangerous for allergic people. Dangerous invaders were accidentally brought over the sea to the United States from South America in the early 1900’s, when active cattle trading was established. Climate was suitable, and there were no natural enemies. In a few years fire ants grew in number and they moved from one state to another. Along their way they hurt many farmers. The United States Department of agriculture (USDA) radically tackled the problem – they sprayed pesticides from helicopters. Instead of ants disappeared all thrushes and people fell ill. By the year 1990 fire ants, unlike thrushes, restored and increased its population. Now ants now encroach on chickens and jam in cables, air conditioners and traffic signals, putting them out of operation. They cause economic damage to the United States in amount of 6 billion dollars a year.Natural enemies of ants are brown bears who adore ants and eat their pupae. Moles, lizards and toads also eat ants. In tropical areas anteaters are main enemies of ants. People say that meat of anteaters smells like ants, but in America they are still hunted. Birds also feed on ants. Those from the middle zone, wrynecks and woodpeckers, especially like them.