We find them in the yard at recess, in the park and even in our homes. They are in many places and are generally accompanied by many more… these well-known insects are ants. Although you find them parading on the ground, they actually live in tunnels under the ground. Ants are social beings, they live in colonies made up of hundreds of thousands of individuals. Each ant plays a fundamental role: the queen ant is responsible for laying thousands of eggs a day. The rest of the female ants are in charge of the most difficult tasks, they are the ones who must look for food, take care of the queen and protect the eggs, as well as defend the colony from predators. Depending on the species, a colony may have one queen or many queens.
- Scientists have identified around 12,000 species of ants around the world. However, they consider that thousands of other species may exist.
- Ants are the weightlifters or bodybuilders of the insect world. An ant can lift 20 times its own body weight. If a 7 year old was as strong as an ant, he could lift a car!
- Worker ants travel long distances in search of food (they can travel up to 200 meters or 700 feet). To find their way back to the colony they follow the scent trails left by other ants, for this they use their antennae which are the organ responsible for perceiving odors.
- Worker ants do not have wings, therefore they remain in the colony for the rest of their lives.
- Some ants have wings, they can fly and build their own colonies.
- Queen ants can live up to 30 years, this is the longest life expectancy of any insect. Worker females live 1-3 years, while males generally survive a few weeks.