10 Interesting Facts About Ants

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Ants can be found in many different parts of the world, and there are 10 interesting facts about ants that you might not know. There are an estimated 100 trillion species of ants on Earth. This makes them one of the most populous creatures on the planet. 

Ants are one of the most fascinating and unique creatures. They are also known for their distinctive body features and habits. There are a lot of interesting things to learn about ants. Here are 10 of the most fascinating facts.

Where Do Ants Live?

Ants are found on each and every continent except Antarctica. They are most naturally found in tropical rainforests and arid sub-Saharan Africa, but they have also been known to live in temperate areas.

10 Interesting Facts About Ants

Ants that live in colonies of millions are the most hardworking. Their colonies are self-sufficient, and they have their own food supply on a regular basis. Ants use pheromones to communicate with each other and to control the behavior of other ants.

What Do Ants Eat?

One of the most common questions about ants is “what do ants eat?” Ants are omnivorous and will eat a variety of things, but their main source of food is honeydew.

Honeydew is a sweet liquid that is excreted by certain types of insects, such as aphids. Ants collect this liquid to eat, and they also trail beehives for honey and other bee products.

Ants are creatures with a complex biology that allows them to thrive in a variety of different environments. One such trait is their ability to have two stomachs in their bodies.

One is for eating food, and the other is for storing or sharing food with other worker ants. This allows them to work together as a unit and survive in difficult conditions.

How Do Ants Communicate With Each Other?

Ants use pheromones to disseminate information among each other. Pheromones are a type of chemical that ants use to send messages among themselves. These messages can tell the ants where food is, when there is danger, or when they need to take some action.

Ants also use touch to communicate with each other. If an ant is injured, another ant will touch it and groom it to clean up the injury. 

10 Interesting Facts About Ants

There are over 12,000 diverse ant species around the planet.

The 12,000 different ant species in the world make them one of the most diverse and widespread creatures on the planet. They can be found practically everywhere, from the Arctic tundra to the tropics and from rain forests to deserts.

Giant Ants colony

Though ants may seem to be all alike, they are not. Each has its own unique behavior and role in the colony, so no two colonies are exactly alike.

Ants have very lengthy lifespans (compared to other insects)

Ants have some of the longest lifespans of any insect. Some species can live up to 30 years. This is in function due to their capability to divide their labor amongst colony members, which allows them to specialize and work together efficiently.

While most ants only live for a few months, the queen ants of the Pogonomyrmex Owyhee species can live for 45 years. This is because they don’t have to do any work, as the worker ant does all the labor.

Ants are the world’s most powerful creatures (comparative to their size)

Ants are known for their strength and resilience, which is due to the fact that they work together as a collective. Ants are the strongest creatures in the world relative to their size. Groups of ants can lift objects that weigh up to 500 times their own body weight.

This makes them incredibly efficient at moving heavy objects and allows them to build some of the most complex structures in nature. When ants are threatened, they form into a ball and swarm their attackers, biting and stinging them until they retreat.

Ant carrying a leaf which is much larger than its size

Ants cannot hear

Ants don’t have ears as humans do. Instead, they use their feet to sense vibrations and communicate. This is why ants are so good at marching in unison.

They can feel the vibrations of other ants’ footsteps and follow them. This is why they are often able to survive when humans attempt to exterminate them because they are unaware of the noise that is being made.

Ants are social insects

Ants are sociable insects that live in territories. The colonies can be very large, with millions of ants living together. Ants are able to form these colonies because they are able to communicate with each other and work together.

Most people know that ants are a very successful species due to their colony-level organization. This characteristic allows ants to be one of the most diverse species on Earth.

In addition, there are special ant colonies known as formicaries. These colonies adhere to a highly specialized caste system in order to optimize their functioning.

Weaver ants make soccer ball-sized nests

Weaver ants are an ant species that is found in many different parts of the world. They are known for their ability to build nests quickly using leaves. They will often link their legs together to pull and bend leaves into their desired positions.

The nests are made from leaves litter that the weaver ants stitch together with silk from their larvae.

In addition, their nests can often be quite large, measuring in at soccer ball-sized! Weaver ants build some of the largest nests in the world.

The most extensive ant colony was over 3,500 miles vast

The largest ant colony was discovered in 2002 and spanned over 3,500 miles. These ants, called “Argentine ants” (Linepithema humile ), originated from northern Italy but had spread all the way to the Atlantic coast of Spain.

Interestingly, there are a few different supercolonies of these ants that have been discovered around the world. The largest colony is the result of two distinct supercolonies that clashed and ended up combining into one.

Ants are quite smart

Ants are one of the most miscellaneous species on Earth. They can be found almost anywhere, and they have some interesting characteristics. For example, ants are quite smart, and they have large brains for their size.

They also have quite a lot of brain cells which helps in fast reflexes. This permits them to be very efficient in their search for food and navigate their way back to the colony.

common red ants walking on food scraps

Ants are as old as dinosaurs

Ants are very old, having been around for 120 million years, and are some of the most diverse creatures on Earth. They play a significant role in the habitat, acting as decomposers and helping to recycle nutrients back into the soil.

Though small, ants play a big role in the food chain. They aerate the soil, help to decompose organic matter, and pollinate plants. Further, they are an essential source of food for other animals.

An ant species has the quickest bite in the animal domain

Ants can be found in nearly every environment and have adapted to an incredible range of lifestyles. Their size, color, and behavior can vary greatly depending on the species.

Additionally, ants are known for their incredibly fast bite, which is the fastest in the animal kingdom.

The ant species that is known as the bullet ant has the quickest and most painful bite, as its name suggests.

A tail of ants forming a bridge

These species come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be found in just about every environment. Additionally, they have some pretty interesting habits and characteristics.

How Many Species of Ants Are There?

One of the most mesmerizing things about ants is their incredible diversity. There are between 12,000 and 22,000 classified species of ant worldwide. This number is constantly changing as new species are discovered.

Ants are highly organized creatures, and some supercolonies have been known to amass interconnected nests that span 2,500 miles.

Final Thoughts

Though ants can be a nuisance, they are one of the most intelligent and successful species on Earth. In fact, there are more than 12,000 species. A particular species of ant can be found across a wide area- for example, one species ranges from Spain to Italy.

Though ants are often considered pests, play an important role as prey and predators in their ecosystems. Ants have an extremely complex social structure, and they are able to accomplish amazing things as a colony. They play a paramount role in the environment, and they are an important part of the food chain.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.