Ant<<<< Back to insects
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Family: Formicidae
- Conservation status: Least concern
- Areal: Worldwide
- Habitat: Soil and cavities in wood and plants
- Diet: Omnivore
- Size: 2mm - 25mm (0.08in - 1in)
- Colors: Brown, Black, Red
- Prey: Leaves, Fungi, Insects
- Predators: Insects, Echidna, Anteater, small birds
- Lifespan: 3 months
- Reproduction: about 1000 Eggs
- Special Features: Social insects and pincers near the mouth
Ants living on Earth for over 100 million years, considered the species evolved and adapted best to the conditions occurring over time in the evolution of Earth.
They are discovered more than 20,000 species, of which the best known are the black and red and white ants or termites. Bees and wasps are relatives, proof being shaped needle body venom from the top of the abdomen.
Being sociable ants live in large groups called colonies, where work organization is very well planned. Not for nothing are considered - as in Cricket and ant fable - most industrious insects.
Generally, the ants are insectivorous, but feed and plants and some species grow their own food, increasing plant lice or cultivating mushrooms to produce a nutritious diet for the colony.
Thus, several species of European ant caregivers lice, which they milked, caressing and antennas to encourage the production of honeydew, their food source. Although it is rich in sugars, honey is generally less protein.
To compensate for this lack, an Asian species of ants carrying leaves older worms, the young, rich in protein, asigurundu thus resulting honey has a high protein level.
Ants leaf cutters in South America carrying cut leaves and other plant fragments in the colony. When you get to submit harvest ants nest in one of the underground chambers for growing fungi.
Ants chop the leaves smaller, more and less chewing and knead them lumpy, which spread through the rooms. These lumps is ideal growth environment for fungus-like mold bread.
Mushroom and digest cellulose from plant proteins, producing the necessary nutrients ants. The little ant colony of garden pruning other fungi enter. Fungi feed on the honeydew with approx. 5 million individuals colony.
Like any insects, ant body consists of three parts: head, thorax and abdomen. The six legs which start from the chest are covered with fine hairs, with two antennas ant clean their top of the head.
Antennas are very important organs for touch, smell and hearing and eye functions replace many and gathered together that are less developed. Also, antennas ants use them to communicate by touch with the other measured the colony.
Apart from the eyes and antennae, head ends with a kind of jaws like pincers, ant weapons to fend off enemies. A kind of pliers, more developed and sharp, ants have on each foot soldiers, guarding the anthill.
The middle part of the body, thorax, is the section in which is found the heart-shaped, long tube that pumps a kind of colorless blood throughout the body. Interestingly, this process is made by blood vessels (as in other animals and humans).
Ant has lungs, breathing is done through the pores of the membrane that covers the entire body of the insect.
The life of a colony depends directly on the Queen's life. When it dies, anthill will not last more than a few months because rarely queen is replaced by another ant. Thus, no queen ants leave the anthill, will have the same fate as their leader.
The role of each resident anteater (anthill) is well established and respected within the group. Thus, the colony is led by a single ant, anthill queen, whose sole task is to make eggs, always neat and defended by all other ants. Also it is one that at first formed colony.
But it appears, in fact, and form a new family of ants? During the nuptial flight, the female mates with a male ant, then down to earth, and after a while her wings fall, she Unable to fly again. Here begins looking for a shelter (under a rock or a hollow timber, where termites) or digging an underground tunnel.
From this main tunnel, which can have 5 meters deep formed and then the so-called underground rooms connected by other smaller tunnels. These rooms will have different uses, as the colony increases in the number of ants storage of food, sleep or laying eggs.
Most other ants in the anthill are working, they gathered food being divided "brotherly" between all members of the colony. Carefully preserving eggs also within the powers of ants working, they delete rubbing their body to the ground does not settle on them.
Eggs are transformed into larvae (the egg stage is dressed in a sort of oval shell called Cocoon) in the future ants will come.
Did you know that:
The ant can push a weight 30 times greater than its weight and up to 50 times greater than its own weight.
Ants live in colonies, led by Queen.
Queen live about 10-20 years, and worker ants around 1-5 years.
Most species of ants are ferocious wars go, some even taking prisoners, ants of smaller species, they make work in their colonies.
Ants are renowned for their feats of collective intelligence, some scientists even make comparison between neurons in a human brain and that of an ant.
Ant can survive up to two weeks underwater.
Science that studies ants is called mirmecologie
Ants eat almost anything, but prefer sweet foods.