An animal you will see daily, and everywhere you go is an ant. They might look like little useless insects, but if you learn a few things about them, you may like them.
Ants are insects of the family Formicidae. They are omnivores, so they eat almost everything, plants, and meat. They live in large groups, also called colonies. Their average life plane is between several weeks to several years. Their size is between 0,08 to 1 inch, so they are tiny.
Ants lay eggs. If the egg is inseminated, the progeny will be female. If not, it will be male. Ants develop by complete metamorphosis, with the larva passing through a pupal stage before starting their life as a fully grown-up ant. The larva is entirely immobile, so workers carry their food.
Winged male ants (drones) emerge from pupae, usually winged females. Some species, including the army ants, have wingless queens. Like all newborns, the larvae must be kept at never-changing temperatures to ensure proper development and often move around within the colony.
Did you know you can eat ants and their babies? To make Mexican escamoles, you need the eggs of two species of ants. They are insect caviar and can sell for as much as US$50 per kg, going to US$200 per kg because they are seasonal and hard to find. In Santander, Colombia, hormigas colonas (large-bottomed ants) are toasted alive and eaten. Did you get hungry when reading this? Maybe you can try the following recipe? https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pear-salad-with-chiangbai-ants-51184630
Ants live in colonies. The colonies can change in size. Some of them exist only a few dozen of ants, but other ones can exist in millions or more. The larger colonies consist of various castes of sterile, wingless females. Most of them are workers and soldiers. The other ones have their specific jobs. Most colonies also have some fertile males called and one or more female fertile females called. A colony is described as a ”superorganism” because it operates as a unified entity, and they work together to support its colony.
One Amazon species cooperatively builds extensive traps from plant fiber. These traps have many holes, and when an insect steps on one, hundreds of ants inside use the opening to seize it with their jaws.
Another species, the yellow crazy ant, can form so-called supercolonies that house multiple queens. The accidental introduction of yellow crazy ants on Australia’s Christmas Island has led to a destructive infestation. The ants are a significant threat to the island’s population of red crabs, which are displaced by the ants from their burrows or killed as they pass through.
Ten cool facts about ants
- There are over 12,000 ant species worldwide. REGION
NUMBER OF SPECIES :
Africa – 2,500
Neotropics – 2,162
Asia – 2,080
Australia – 985
Nearctic – 580
Melanesia – 275
Europa – 180
Polynesia – 42
- The Bullet ant is said to have the most painful sting in the world
a. They got their name because of the fact their sting can be compared to being hit by a bullet
- Fire ants cause over $ 3 billion worth of damage a year.
- Ants are the longest-living insects.
- The ant is one of the world’s strongest creatures, although concerning its size.
a. One ant can carry 50 times its body weight, and they’ll even work together to move more significant objects. To have an idea, let’s say you weigh like 70kg, which means you could carry 3,500kg.
- Ants still hold the record for the fastest movement in the animal kingdom
a. The aptly named trap-jaw ant can close its jaws at 140mph, which it uses to kill its prey or injure predators.
- Ants can be found on every continent except Antarctica
a. Ironic when you consider the name.
- Ants are social insects that live in colonies.
- Ants don’t have ears, and some don’t even have eyes.
- The largest ant’s nest ever found was over 3,700 miles wide.
a. It was found in Argentina back in the year 2000. In this colony, there were housing 33 ant populations that had merged into one giant supercolony, with millions of nests and billions of workers
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