Ants are found all over the world, from the hottest deserts to the lush green rainforests. We can find them in our backyards, in our homes, and even in our workplaces. Ants live in colonies and a single colony may have over a million ants. |
There are several different types of ants. Some of the better-known varieties are the army, driver, honeypot, weaver, leafcutter, fire, silver, and bulldog. All colonies are comprised of three types of ants, namely the worker, the soldier, and the single queen ant.
The behavior may vary according to their type. The size of ants range from two to 25 millimeters and their color may vary from red to brown or black.Army and driver ants are highly evolved . Army ants are found in South America and driver are found in Africa.
Unlike other species, these do not have permanent nests, and these colonies reproduce by two methods – fission or nuptial flights.Honey pot species generally have enlarged abdomens. They usually live in hot, dry places such as Australia, Africa, North America and they can be found in deserts as well. These are also considered a great delicacy.
Ants that make their nests on trees by attaching leaves together are the weaver ants. These creatures first pull the leaves together with a bridge of workers and then they knight the leaves together by pressing silk producing larvae on the leaves.
Leafcutter ants live only within their colony and feed exclusively on fungus. They come in different sized castes to carry out various functions that are to be performed in the colony. Another unique species is the fire ant.
These have a sac of poison that is filled with piper dine alkaloids. The Australian bulldog are those with only one chromosome and these are amongst the biggest and most primitive varieties of ants. Ants one of the most common creatures in the world. In spite of their small size, they may pose a threat to humans as well as animals. But its fun to watch them go about their every day ‘busy day’, undisturbed. Watch them when you meet them next time, but keep your distance, don’t disturb them!
Philip is the operator of Natural Track Safaris, a Kenya based nature Safari Company catering for family outdoor adventures, camping and overland safaris. For more safari information visit http://www.natural-track.com/safaris and http://www.natural-track.com
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