Ant Trivia

ants walkin in a lineIt is estimated that at any time there are more than one quadrillion (1 000 000 000 000 000) ants on the planet. They live on every continent of the world except Antarctica. They are both invasive and adaptable insects, which is why they have been around for millions of years.

Not all ants sting. Wood ants and black ants spray formic acid.

There are over 12500 recognised species of ants.

All ants have six jointed legs. They have three body sections the abdomen, the thorax and the head.

Ants have a pair of antennae which they use for both touching and smelling objects.

Ants have two eyes which are made up of many smaller eyes. These eyes are referred to as compound eyes.

Ants are social insects, they  live in colonies. A colony may have only a few dozen residents or it may have millions. There is a super colony in Australia, located beneath Melbourne. It is more than 100 km long. The super colony in California is more than 900 km long and the colony on the Mediterranean Coast is over 6 000 km long. There is another super colony in Japan that has approximately 306 million residents.

The average life span of an ant is 45 to 65 days. The ant goes through four distinctive stages in its life, the egg, the larva, the pupa , and the adult.

All ants have a specific function within the colony. There is a queen, workers, soldiers and the males.

There may be more than one queen in a colony. The queens are born with wings but lose them shortly after mating.

Workers are sterile, wingless females. They gather food, take care of the eggs, enlarge the nest and take out the trash.

Ants have two stomachs. One stomach is for them, the other is used to transport food back to the colony.

Males have wings. Their sole job is to mate with the queens.

Ants are able to lift things 20 times their own weight. They are also incredibly fast runners in proportion to their size.

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