Ant Species

Ant Species, Types, Facts, Diet, Habitat, Characteristics, Reproduction, Sting pain and everything about Ant Species is discussed on this page.

What is Ant?

Ants belong to the family Formicidae in the kingdom of Animalia along with the related bees and wasp. Ants evolved from wasp in the Cretaceous period before 140 million years ago. More than 12,500 species have been classified yet from the estimated total 22,000 species. They can be easily identified by the antennae on their head and the distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists. Their bodies are covered with the hard armor called the exoskeleton.

Most of the ants found in the red and black color and their length of bodies also can vary. Similar to the other insects, they have six legs, each with the three legs. Ants have the large head with the compound eyes, elbowed antennae, and powerful jaws. There are three types of adult ants living in the colony: the queen, female ants, and male ants. Queen ants are the largest ant in the colony and their main purpose to lay eggs and also, they have wings. The queen ants can live up to 30 years. It depends on the species of the ants and the size of the nest community, there can be one or more queens in the colony.

Ant Definition

A small insect with a sting usually found in the complex social colony with one or more queens for breeding belongs to family Formicidae. The colony separated in three groups which have queen ants, Female ants, and male ants. The main goal of the queen ant is breeding. A queen ant can live up to 30 years. In a complex colony, there can be one or more queen ants which depend on the size of the colony. It is easy to recognize the queen ants as they have the large size than other ants.

Scientific Name of Ant: Formicidae

The Ants are known as the Formicidae with its scientific name. There is the number of species of ants is existed on the earth. More than ten thousand species are discovered but there are still more to go. You may see the ant in your life at any point. These insects come under the phylum Arthropoda as it the number of similarities with the other insects like the exoskeleton and six legs are the few examples. Ants are the evolution of the wasp and bees as male ants still have the wings.

Ants Characteristics

Along with the great diversity in habits and social behaviors, most ants share the same physical structure. They range in size from 2 to 25 mm. The ants are usually found in the color yellow, brown, red or black. Some species of ants also have the metallic lustre. The body of the ants is so similar to the insects divided into the three sections – the head, thorax, and the abdomen. The head is large and the abdomen is slender and oval.

Types of Ants

Some species are lived in the complex colony which maintained by the queen ants while others are supported by multiple queens which depend on the size of the colony and species of the ants. There are more than twenty thousands of species of ants exists across the planet earth which includes:

Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)

These ants have the dark brown color. Worker ants follow the food trails for long distances. So, its nest will not discoverable by others. They prefer to have the sweet food but also can live on eat dead insects, meats, and damaged fruits. Argentine ants drive out other species of ants from the area.

Carpenter Ant (Camponotys pensylvanicus)

The carpenter ants have the blackish color but also can find in the black and red as well. It has the six legs and queen which have the large size than workers. You can easily found this species in moist and dry wood, but the moist wood is the more preferable by Carpenter ants. These ants hunt the food in the night especially but during the summer/ spring they hunt in the day as well. They do not eat wood. But sweet substances, grease, fats, and meats can attract them.

Fire Ant (Solenopsis Spp)

This species of ants have the coppery-brown on the head and body with the darker abdomen. It has the two antennae on the head which is visible in the front view of the female reproductive ant.

Pharaoh’s Ant (Monomorium Pharaonis)

The species of ants have the yellow-brown color combination for their body. The whole body has the yellow color except abdomen which has brown color whereas the males have the black winged body. The queen of the Pharaoh’s Ant can be dark red in color with wings. It has the two eyes with two small segments or antennae on the head which can be easily viewed from the front.

Thief Ant (Solenopsis Molesta)

These ants have the multi-queen colonies. The nests of these ants located in the small cavities under debris or objects on soil, loose floor molding and within wall voids or cabinets. They eat bread, fruits, oils, nuts but readily feed on sweets. They try to find to eat for anything organic including insects, honeydew and seeds.

Harvester Ant (Pogonmyrmex spp.)

These ants have the orange to reddish color on their body and long hair under the chin. Their favorite food to eat is different types of grasses. They have the nest location 10 to 15 feet deep into the ground and they clear the surroundings of nest raging up to 1 to 35 feet in diameter of the entrance hole.

Black House Ant (Ochetellus)

These are the shiny black ants which can long up to 2.5 – 3 mm. These ants are also known as the nuisance because generally, it appears in the kitchens, garbage, and also in dog excrement. These ants are potentially spreading diseases like salmonella. The Coastal brown ant which is light yellowish brown prefers to feed grease and products of meat.

Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma Sessile)

The ants have the black or brown bodies with no stringer. These ants found in the colonies of up to 100,000 members. You might saw these ants in kitchens, bathrooms, cupboards, or anywhere in food crumbs. The nest location of these ants has around houses and in wall voids.

Ant Species

There are an estimated 22,000 species of the ants exists on this planet in which more than 12,500 species discovered yet. They are easily identified by their distinctive node-like structure which forms the slender waists and elbowed antennae. Here are some of the most common species of the ants:

Interesting Ant Facts

  • The ants can carry lift weight 10 to 50 times more than their body.
  • Ants don’t have lungs.
  • Ants don’t have ears but use vibrations to hear.
  • There are more than 12,000 ant species worldwide.
  • Fire ant causes a damage of $3 billion every year.
  • Ants are the longest living insects.
  • The ant is one of the world’s strongest creatures in comparison of its size.
  • Ants can be found on every single continent except Antarctica.
  • Ants live in colonies as they are social insects.
  • Ants can become zombies.
  • Army ant species don’t believe in building nests and have two phases of life – Nomad and Stationary.
  • Ants evolved from wasp in the mid cretaceous period before 120 billion years ago.
  • The colonies of the ants can vary in size.
  • Termites might be incorrectly considered in the ants as they belong to the order Isoptera which is more close to cockroaches than ants.
  • Ant eyes are good for acute movement detection, but don’t provide a high-resolution image to see.
  • Each ant colony has its own distinctive smell. So, the intruders can easily be recognized by ants.

Ants Habitat – Where Do Ants Live?

Ants can be found on the almost every continent of the earth. There are more than 12 thousand species of ant is classified yet from the estimated 20,000 species. The ants are surviving from the age of the dinosaurs. Ants found in the large groups which are called colonies. They might have the nest underground, inside trees, or in the walls, and void of a house or building. In the home, the ants can make the nest behind baseboards, moldings, and countertops, and inside walls. Each ant colony is made up of different types of ants known as the castes.

Natural Ant Repellents

The ants are the unwanted guests at the house which can damage the various things like wood, organic food, plants etc. Here are the few natural repellents to get rid of the ants:

  • Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar

Sugar attracts the ants and soda will disturb the digestive system of ants and cause to end.

  • Vinegar

Vinegar is very effective to repel the insects like ants.

  • Boric Acid

Boric acid is toxic for the ants and suitable for use in both the home and garden.

  • Lemon Juice

With the ample amount of lemon juice can do ant proof different areas of your home.

  • Cucumber Peel

You can use this cucumber in the garden to repel ants.

  • Cayenne Pepper

The strong pungent odor of cayenne pepper will destroy the signals that ants use to communicate and move towards their nest.

How long do ants live?

The lifecycle of the ants depends on the species, location, and habitat in which they lived. The queen of the colony can live more years as compared to the workers. The Black garden ant can live up to 15 years although the Pharaoh ant has the lifespan up to 4-12 years. The ants who live in the wild habitat can become the food of the predators before complete their lifespan.

What do Ants Eat – Ants Diet?

Ants are omnivorous and can eat everything. They feed the other small Hemiptera, insects, and small living or dead invertebrates, as well as the sap of plants and various fruits. Sometimes they also eat insect eggs. They can eat almost everything that humans do. They also hunt for small insects inside our homes. Also, the queen feeds the first larvae her extra eggs which contain rich amount of nutrients.

How many legs do ants have?

Ants are insects and have six legs. All six legs of ants’ attached to its thorax which is the middle section of its abdomen. There is a claw exists on each leg at the end.

How many ants are in the world?

There are more than 12k species of the ant’s species classified from the estimated 20k thousand. There are more than 10,000 trillion ants in the world which is more than humans and other animals.

How many ants in a colony?

The largest ant super colony was found on the Ishikari coast of Hokkaido, Japan in 2000. The colony was interconnected by underground passage over an area of 670 acres. It contains 306 million worker ants and one million queen ants living in 45,000 nests. The numbers of ant in the colony are depended upon the species of the ants. Some species of the ants are more social as they have large colonies and few species like army ants found in few numbers or sometimes individuals.

Is an Ant an Animal?

Yes. The ants belong to the kingdom anmilia in the order of Hymenoptera and family or superfamily Formicidae. Ants are one the beautiful and social animal which lives in the groups called colonies. As insects, ants have the hard outer body called exoskeleton with the three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Ants have two pairs of appendages on their head called mandibles that ants use for grabbing or fighting and maxillae.

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