40 Interesting Facts About Army Ant

Facts About Army Ant: Army ants, also known as army ants, are ant species that all have a group of common, coupled behaviors, the "army ant syndrome". Most species with this behavioral syndrome form a group of related subfamilies, the Dorylomorpha. In addition, it occurs more rarely in a number of other species that are not closely related to each other and belong to different subfamilies. Other species show only some but not all of the characteristic behaviors.

40 Interesting Facts About Army Ant

Interesting Facts About Army Ant

  • An army ant can also be referred to as legionary ant or marabunta.
  • An army ant is a generic name used to describe over 200 species of ants.
  • All species of ants that are called army ants are members of Formicidae.
  • Some species of army ants can have a colony with more than 20 million ants.
  • A group of foraging army ants is called a swarm, swarm raid or column raid.
  • Army ants can kill upwards of 100,000 insects, spiders and small vertebrates in a single day.
  • There are four types of ants found in an army ant colony, and they are workers, soldiers, males and queens.
  • "This is very impressive, considering that the average ant is about one-millionth the size of a human being," he said.
  • When army ants go out to forage the foraging party can create a trail that is over 65 feet wide and over 320 feet long.
  • Army ants are followed by various other animal and insect species who feed on the insects they flush out when foraging.
  • Ant species that are considered army ants are divided into two groups, they are Old World army ants and New World army ants.
  • An army ant is an ant species that is known for aggressive foraging. Army ants forage together in large numbers and can cover a large area.
  • The Eciton army ant (Eciton burchellii) is the most studied army ant in the world, and they can be found in Central America and the Amazon jungle.

Awesome Facts About Army Ant

  • It is estimated that ants can carry 10 to 50 times their body weight. This is because their muscles are thicker relative to their body size than those of larger animals.
  • Army ants complete a process called colony fission about every three years. This is when the colony size gets to large and it splits off into two separate army ant colonies.
  • Myrmecology, which is the term for the study of ants, comes from the Greek words myrmex (ant) and logos (study). Myrmecologists have discovered many amazing things about ants.
  • "It was once thought that ants were necessary for peony flowers to open," he continued. "However, research shows that this is not true. The flowers open without any ant activity."
  • Army ants don’t build permanent nests, instead of a nest, army ants live in a bivouac. The most common place to find an army ant bivouac is in a burrow dug by the ants or a tree trunk.
  • Ants are divided into castes, or classes: workers, males, and queens. Some species, including army ants, some leaf cutter ants, and Messors (a species of harvester ants), also have soldier ants
  • Worker ants forage for food, care for the queen's offspring, work on the nest, protect the community, and perform many other duties. They are all wingless females and generally do not lay eggs.
  • There are an estimated ten thousand trillion ants worldwide, and they weigh roughly the same as all of humanity, according to University of Illinois Extension horticulture specialist Ron Wolford.
  • Soldier ants defend the colony. Their heads are large and packed with muscle. Often, the normal-sized worker ants are the first to enter a battle, but then they call in their larger soldiers to help.
  • Humans have many different types of faces, but ant faces are even more diverse. The shape of an ant's head and mandibles (strong jaws) and the size of its eyes can reveal the diet and lifestyle of each ant species.

Spooky Facts About Army Ant

  • Ants sometimes use sound to communicate. If the nest caves in, the ants inside signal with a little squeak that they need to be dug up. Some ants can send out a squeaking or buzzing sound by rubbing segments of their bodies together.
  • Ants mate "on the wing." The large-winged queens and smaller-winged males take to the air, following thermal currents. They can mate in the air or on the ground. The male will die after a day or two; the queen may mate with several more males.
  • Ants communicate using chemical signals (pheromones), taste, physical touch, and sometimes, the vibration of their bodies to send messages about food, enemies, and the nest. Scents can travel rapidly over distances, enabling ants to signal many others.
  • When an ant finds a large piece of food, it returns to the nest to collect its fellow workers, leaving a trail of odors as landmarks to help it find its way back to the food. This odor also leaves a message, "follow me to food," for the other ants in the colony.
  • Ants can be found all over the world, except in Antarctica, Greenland, and a few inhospitable or remote islands. They live 45 to 60 days. They are very social and live in structured communities, which may be located underground, above-ground in mounds, or even in trees.
  • For example, the Trap-jaw ant has mandibles that slam shut when they touch a target. "The closing of these mandibles is one of the fastest movements in the animal kingdom -- up to 145 miles per hour!" said Wolford. "That is 2,300 times faster than the blink of a human eye."
  • "On a gardening-related note, you may have noticed that peonies attract a lot of ants," Wolford said. "That is most likely because the ants have found aphids that are producing honeydew (excrement) that the ants harvest for their nests. With peonies, the flower-bud scales secrete sap that is rich in carbohydrates and that the ants can use as a food source."
  • The queen then finds a nesting site. She uses her middle and hind legs to detach her two pairs of wings, which she discards because she will never fly again. If she neglects to remove her wings, they will break off or get chewed off by a worker ant. She then digs a small hole, climbs into it, and plugs up the entrance from the inside. Hidden from the world, she lays her eggs and spends the rest of her life in darkness.
  • The function of the queen ants is to lay enough eggs to ensure the colony's survival. Queens are usually larger than workers and are instantly recognizable because they have larger thoraxes (the middle section of the ant's body) to support their wing muscles. The queen's abdomen is also larger to accommodate the advanced egg-producing organs. Male ants are quite often the smallest of the castes. They usually have only one role in life, which is to mate with a queen. Male ants are produced from unfertilized eggs laid by the queen. Their antennae are not jointed, as are those of the other castes, though they probably have the best eyesight of all castes.

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