Ants have often been a thought of as a bit of a pain, especially when they are found trying to eat a piece of cake you left on the kitchen bench or even crumbs left on the table. They can even become annoying when mowing the lawn, as they leave behind sandy funnels. There are also those ants which have the capability to bite and squirt poison into the wound. Many people also consider that the ant’s trails found around suburban homes to be very unsightly. Ants can also attack plant life and swarm, in some instances making the occupants of the dwelling very uneasy. Ants have been known to carry diseases, which can cause a serious health threat.
Ants belong to other groups of insects including bees and wasps. There are as many as three thousand different species of an in Australia. Ants have 3 separate parts to their bodys, their head, stomach and thorax. Ants always have bent antenna, that’s one of the main differences between ants and termites. Ants completely change from when they are born as little eggs then they become small white, soft blobs which the adults feed, after 24/48hrs the outer shell will harden and become a darker shade. Depending on the species of ant it can be 7 or 8 weeks before the ant is fully grown. This can be very dependent on weather conditions, temperature and the availability of food.
There are three different types of ants in any colony, the male, the female and the worker. The male’s only real job is to mate with the queen or queens! What a job! The female is nearly always the largest and lives to a maximum of fifteen years. The worker ant is infertile, wingless, female whose job it is to collect food and water among many other jobs including caring for the babies. The bigger workers with giant heads are called in most cases soldiers. Workers really only live for around a year.
The Queen is the one who controls the colony size, after mating with a male, the male goes away and dies, those eggs that are fertilized become females or workers of the colony, and those who do not get fertilized obviously become males. Some colony’s swarm or come out at the same time, where they try to find a new home and start a new colony. In other cases it appears that the ant colony doesn’t do this instead they have been found to mate inside or near the main nest, it seems that the Argentine and Pharaoh ants are the main types of ant that employ this technique.
Most ants live in the same nests their whole lives in the same location, although it has been recorded that they have moved the entire nest to a new location. Worker ants like to leave chemical trails to food or water and can even use landmarks and light to orientate themselves. Ants will eat almost anything, being omnivores they will eat almost anything including plants and other bugs, and in some cases even other ants.