The ant is a tiny invertebrate that may be found all throughout the planet, save in polar locations such as the Arctic Circle and Antarctica. Ant species, like many other insect species, may be found in a wide variety of habitats all over the world.
Ant Scientific Classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Family: Formicidae
- Scientific Name: Formicidae
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
- Locations: Africa, Asia, Central-America, Eurasia, Europe, North-America, Oceania, South-America
- Main Prey: Leaves, Fungi, Insects
- Habitat: Soil and cavities in wood and plants
- Predators: Insects, Echidna, Anteater
- Diet: Omnivore
- Average Litter Size: 1,000
- Favorite Food: Leaves
- Common Name: Ant
- Number Of Species: 12000
- Location: Worldwide
- Slogan: First evolved 100 million years ago!
- Colour: Brown, Red, Black
- Skin Type: Shell
- Length: 2mm – 25mm (0.08in – 1in)
Incredible Ant Facts
- A type of ant found only between 63rd and 76th streets in New York can be found nowhere else on the planet. ManhattAnt is its name.
- As a predatory strategy, more than 300 spider species have evolved to disguise themselves as ants.
- The Mediterranean coast is home to a single “super ant colony” that extends 3,700 kilometers.
Species: The Types of Ants
There are about 12,000 known ant species worldwide, with an estimated total of almost 14,000 species. After flowering flowers originated on Earth 100 million years ago, ants are considered to have evolved from wasp-like animals.
Bullet Ants (Paraponera clavata)
The bullet ant is noted for its tremendous sting, which has been dubbed “the most excruciating in the world.” The pain from their sting is nearly immediate, and it feels like a bullet that moves in waves for up to 12 hours.
Bullet ant stings have long been utilized in puberty ceremonies by indigenous tribes, with no known long-term effects.
What causes the bullet ant’s sting to be so painful? The ant releases a neurotoxic known as ‘poneratoxin,’ which interferes with nerve cells’ capacity to send electrical impulses, resulting in excruciating agony. From Central America to the Amazon rain forest, bullet ants can be found in colonies of 1,000 to 3,000 ants.
Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile)
The Argentine ant, despite its name, has been brought to many parts of the world, including the United States, Australia, and Japan. The “supercolonies” of the Argentine ant are the most well-known feature of the species. The Mediterranean’s longest mega colony has been discovered, extending over 3,700 kilometers!
A colony in California runs for more than 500 miles, and additional “mega colonies” may be found in Japan.
Black Garden Ants (Lasius niger)
The black garden ant is also known as the “common ant” since it may be found all over the world. The species’ queens have been known to live up to 30 years. Black garden ants may form colonies of up to 40,000 individuals, although most colonies contain fewer than 10,000 workers.
Banded Sugar Ants (Camponotus consobrinus)
Sugar ants, also known as banded sugar ants, may be found all over Australia’s east coast and are a prevalent ‘problem’ in the ecosystems they dwell in. While banded sugar ants (as their name suggests) favor sweets, they are also predators of other insects that they kill with a formic acid spray. The species is primarily active at night.
Honeypot Ant (Formicidae)
Honeypot ants (Formicidae) are a kind of ant that stores food in their own bodies. The abdomen of’repletes,’ a kind of honeypot ant with a particular adaptation for storing food, expand and gathers food. Repletes’ abdomens begin to resemble “honey pots” as they mature.
During dry seasons, worker ants drain repletes, giving essential nourishment during a period when food is scarce. Honeypot ants thrive in desert conditions, and they may be found from the southwest of the United States to the Sahara Desert, as well as in Australia.
Appearance and Behavior
Ants come in a variety of sizes and colors, depending on which species they are. Some ant species even have wings and can fly, allowing them to expand their territory even further. In the more humid climate of the Southern Hemisphere’s tropical rainforests, the ants grow usually larger, reaching lengths of more than a few centimeters.
Ants are very sociable insects with a sophisticated social structure in which each ant has a specific function (effectively a job). Ants live in colonies and have a social structure that ranges from worker ants that gather resources and food to the queen ant who leads the nest and is the only female who reproduces in her colony.
The queen ant may live for almost a year, which is far longer than the lifetimes of worker ants, who are just a few months long. The queen ant lays between 800 and 1,500 eggs each day, which is fertilized by the sperm of the male ants in the nest. Surprisingly, unfertilized ant eggs will hatch, but they will generate sterile female ants who will become worker ants because they are unable to procreate.
Diet and Predators
Ants are omnivore creatures, which means they eat a variety of plant and animal materials. The ant’s food consists largely of leaves, fungus, honey, nectar, tiny insects, and dead animals, however, the ant’s specific diet varies by species. Some ant species prefer a herbivorous diet, whilst others prefer to consume meat.
Ants are preyed upon by a variety of creatures, ranging from minute insects to reptiles, mammals, and fish, and even certain plant species have developed ways to digest them due to their abundance and small size.
An ant can lift up to 50 times its own body weight and pull more than 30 times its own body weight, according to legend. This is the equivalent of a fully grown African elephant being lifted by an ordinary human adult!
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