Ants are insects belonging to the order Hymenoptera. They form three castes: men, women and workers. Ants live in large nests called anthills. They can create them in wood, in the ground, under rocks. There are also species that live in the nests of other ants.
Currently, these insects can even live in human dwellings. Many are now considered pests. They feed mainly on the juices of various plants, as well as other insects. Some species can eat seeds or cultivated mushrooms.
Ants were first discovered by entomologist Erich Wasmann. He also wrote about them in his scientific works.
In this article, we will consider 10 interesting facts about ants for children.
10. The species Paraponera clavata is called “bullet ants”
few people know about this kind of ants like paraponera clavata. Locals call them “ball ants». They received such an unusual nickname because of their poison, which acts on a person during the day.
This type of ant lives in Central and South America. They have a very strong poison, which has no equal in strength even with wasps and bees. The insects are only 25mm long, but their stinger is 3.5mm.
During the study of the poison, a paralyzing peptide was discovered. It should be noted that in some tribes of ants it is used as a ritual. These include the initiation of boys.
Children wear gloves on their hands completely stuffed with these insects. After receiving a huge dose of poison, temporary paralysis occurs. Sensitivity only returns after a few days.
9. One of the smartest insects
Ants are very intelligent and amazing insects. Their lives are subject only to strict algorithms.. They have been around since the advent of dinosaurs on our planet. But, nevertheless, they were able to save many species to date. Currently, there are about ten quadrillion individuals.
It should be noted that ants can communicate perfectly. This helps them find food, mark the way, and help their nest mates do so.
These amazing insects can not only protect food supplies, but also store them in themselves. Especially in their small stomachs they can carry honey.
8. The queen can live up to 30 years
Many scientists believe that anthills are similar to human cities. Each of these places has its own distribution of tasks.
“Soldier” ants guard the uterus (the queen of all ants), as well as other insects from enemies. Simple “workers” lay housing, expand it. Others are just busy picking up food.
It should be noted that ants can rally together to save their queen. Surprisingly, the female has nothing to do with the name. Her duty, which she firmly fulfills, is reproduction and nothing more.
The queen can live much longer than her subordinates, who live with her under the “same roof”. The queen ant can live up to 30 years.
7. The largest settlement covers an area of 6,000 km2
In Europe, as well as in the United States, live Argentine ants, which form a huge colony. It is known as the largest ant colony in the world. Its territory covers 6 thousand km2. But, to the surprise of many, a man created it.
Initially, this species was found only in South America, but thanks to humans it spread everywhere. Previously, Argentine ants created large colonies. But this species is considered a pest, because it brings great discomfort to animals and crops.
The ants are all friendly towards each other, which is why they can easily be present. Their colonies can extend up to several tens of kilometers.
6. Able to take “prisoners” and force them to work for themselves
Few people know that these people live in the northeastern United States. species of ants that constantly attack other colonies and take them captive.
This species is called Protomognathus americanus. The ants kill all the adults in the colony and then take the larvae and eggs with them. They raise and feed them as their own.
In a colony of such slaves there can be up to 70 individuals. Since ancient times, they have been leading the image of slave owners. As soon as the slave ants start giving off their peculiar smell, their owners either kill them or stop caring about them.
5. There are wandering ants
Ants-nomads live in Asia, America. These species do not build nests for themselves, as they constantly move from place to place.
They can move day and night. Quietly endure long distances – a day of 1-3 km. These species feed not only on seeds, but also on insects and even small birds. For this they are often called “killers”.
Nomadic ants can take other people’s larvae and eggs with them. Sometimes there are so many insects, about a hundred thousand. Each of them is subject to a certain hierarchy. The majority are ordinary workers. But the main character remains – the queen (female).
4. Form “living bridges” from their bodies to overcome obstacles
The surprising fact remains that many species of ants are capable of creating life”bridges». This helps them cross a river or a pond.
These include the genus of ants called Eciton.
Once an experiment was conducted at one of the universities, which proved that some species are even able to sacrifice themselves for the sake of other brothers.
3. Each ant colony has its own smell.
Each ant has its own specific smell.. It helps him communicate with other parents. Every family of ants will immediately sense whether a stranger is next to them or theirs.
Thus, the smell helps insects to find food and warn of impending danger. The same goes for ant colonies. Each of them has its own unique scent. “Alien” will not be able to cross such barriers.
2. The bite of a black bulldog ant is deadly
In the world, a species of ants like a bulldog is known. They are considered the most aggressive. Among other things, they are distinguished by their size. Their appearance reaches about 4.5 centimeters. The body is often compared to that of an aspen. When people see such ants, they try to avoid them, as their bite is deadly to humans.
Statistics indicate that 3-5% of people bitten by bulldog ants die.. The poison almost instantly enters the bloodstream. It should be noted that this species is able to move by jumping. The largest jump has a wingspan of 40-50 cm.
Most often, these insects are found in Australia. Prefer to live in more humid areas. The level of pain from a bite is compared to the bite of three wasps at once.
After a bite, a person first begins with severe redness and itching throughout the body. Then the temperature rises.
Sometimes, if a person doesn’t have an allergy, there might not be anything like an insect. But if 2-3 ants bite at once, it can already be fatal.
1. In many cultures – a symbol of hard work
Many peoples believe that ants are a symbol of patience, diligence and diligence.. For example, the Romans determined their place near the goddess Cecera, who was responsible for the forces of the earth, as well as the growth and ripening of fruits.
In China, ants had the status of order and virtue. But in Buddhism and Hinduism, the activity of ants was equated with useless activity.