What Are Ants?
Ants are the social insects having one of the most complex social societies in the insects’ kingdom. Ants live in colonies that contain different sorts of members. Every ant’s colony has at least one queen. The job of the queen is to hatch eggs. The province of every ant has its kind of smell. An interesting fact of ants that they never sleep. An ant can lift 50 times its weight. Bet you did know that Ants have two stomachs, one holds food for itself and the second is for food to be shared with the other ants. There are many hundreds of species of ants live on the plant. Some of the most common all over the world are as below:
- Carpenter Ants
- Black garden ants
- Fire ants
- Ghost ants
- Pharaoh ants
- Pavement ants
- Odorous House ants
- And lots more
What Do Ants Look Like?
Ants have different colors, shapes, sizes, but everyday things in all of them are, they all have three body segments such as head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have six legs and a pair of antennas with two large compound eyes.
Ants are healthy for their weight. They have an exoskeleton which is hard and waterproof and made of a material called chitin.
Ants don’t have stomach, ears, and lungs.
How Long Ants Live? Ants Age?
As ants are a social insect. They live in colonies everywhere across the globe. Each territory has different types of members that do their jobs. Each area includes at least one queen, males, and female workers. Only the queen ant can hatch eggs. They can live thousands of years and have millions of babies. They also have wings which they used to protect their colonies. After a queen ant dies, its territory will survive just 2 to 3 months. But if a colony have more than one queen, then the dyed queen replaced, but it happens rarely. The worker’s ants are unfertilized. The male’s ant job is to mate with queen ants. Unlike queen ants, the worker ants and male ants do not live longer. The number of queens depends on the ant species.
Each colony has its soldier ants. Their job is to protect queen ant along with its eggs. They defend their territory and collect food and kill the attacker in search of food and nesting space. Ants also fight with other ant colonies and the winner ants after defeating opponent colonies, takes away food and eggs.
When the eggs hatch, the newly born and babies become the slave of the colony and do their job as taking care of the eggs, collect food for their colony and building the anthills and mounds.
Ants make colonies inside trees, in cracks, underground, or in walls. A single colony may live many years with the same queens’ ants, but the male ants and worker ants will die in one to three years.
What Do Ants Eat?
Like other living insects, they also have basic needs to live. If we talk about what do ants eat? They can eat anything. They are very adaptable and will eat everything to remain alive. Have you ever noticed ants when carrying food back to their colony? They can take all kinds of food material back to their colonies. They collect food in summer that they will eat in winter as the rainy or winter season do not allow them to walk outside of their colonies.
But mostly ants are attracted to sugary foods. Let’s have a look at some items which ants like the most!
Ants are attracted to sweet food and as it is an essential item for ants to stay active. When
ant’s food delicious food in liquid form, they store the liquid in their abdomen and walk back to their colonies. After reaching in their territories, they feed the stored liquid food in drops form their mouth to other ant mouths.
Proteins and Fats
As other living insects, ants also need proteins and fats to grow well and to ant avoid colonies to die out. Meat and eggs are also highly attractive food for ants. Some other household kitchen food like grease and lard are also likely foods by ants.
Living and Dead Insects
Ants also like to eat the dead bodies of other insects. Ants wait for them to die before taking the masses to their nests. However, some types of ants are aggressive; they capture living insects then them by swarming in collections.
Some species of ants also eat fungus. They eat fungus to grow as their source of nutrition. Fungi is ubiquitous in some countries in humid places as they build their colonies in greasy areas.
If you ever think that water is not essential for ants, then you are wrong as water is a basic need to survive for all living things, including ants. They also store water in their abdomen and bring water back to their nest. Then they feed the water to other members of their colonies from mouth to mouth. Some species of ants also get water from the leaves and flower that hold nectar.
How Long Do Ants Live?
The life cycle of an ant begins with an egg which then hatches into a larva. As it grows bigger, its exoskeleton cracks open, and the ant crawls out. Ants nests or colonies can be live for years. The members of the colony live from one to three years while male ants have short-lived. Male ants live maximum for 3 or 4 weeks. But the queen ant can live up to 30 years. Queen ants maximum lived life is more than 100 years long.
Ants are Friend or Enemy?
Ants are called social insects that lived together in groups. In each colony, there can be hundreds or even thousands of ants. But they destroy leaves, fruits, food, and seeds. And if their colonies are in your home, then it can cause serious harm for food items or for wood items.