The ants have still not arrived. In hopes of curbing any ANTicipation, below are a handful really cool ant facts!
- Harvester ant colonies can contain as many as 40-50 thousand ants!
- Ants communicate by touching antennae. They also use scent, sound, and sight.
- Male ants are only created as needed for reproduction purposes, and die shortly after mating. This means that all the ants you find, including workers and soldiers, are female!
- Ants can carry up to 50 times their own weight!
- Ant fossils have been found that date back over 100 million years, and ants today aren’t much different from their ancestors since they can adapt well to their environments.
- Ants are related to wasps! They belong to the same scientifically classified order, Hymenoptera.
- Ants have an extra stomach where they store food for other colony members.
Besides harvester ants, there are:
Slave makers, ants who raid the nests of other ant colonies and steal cocoons. When those cocoons hatch, the new ants work as slaves in their new colonies.
Dairy ants, who ‘milk’ aphids after the aphids have sucked sweet juices from a plant.
Leaf cutters carry back chunks of leaves to their nest.These ants don’t eat the leaf chunks, but rather the fungus that will grow on the them.
Fire ants cause a painful sting. Groups of them can kill small animals.
Army ants live in colonies with populations over several hundred thousand. They can swarm and attack anything that crosses their path.Any animal that can’t move quickly, swim, or fly, becomes a snack!
Luckily, the harvester ants will be docile and content with their gel snack!