ruler

How big is the World’s biggest ant?

ruler

ANSWER: 5-6 centimeters = over 2 inches

… Ants range in size from 0.75 to 52 millimeters (0.030–2.0 in), the largest species being the fossil Titanomyrma giganteum, the queen of which was 6 centimeters (2.4 in) long with a wingspan of 15 centimeters (5.9 in) [source].

… The largest living ant in the world today is the Queen Driver Ant. Whilst the minions beneath her are just 5 millimeters in length and soldier ants are slightly bigger at 15 millimeters – the queen grows as long as 5 centimeters [source].

… The Bullet Ant can get up to  3 centimeters  [source].





Strong ant

Things you didn’t know about ants

Strong ant

From the article  “10 Frightening Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Ants“.

10) Ants are as old as the dinosaurs

…ants first arose in the mid-Cretaceous period — about 110—130 million years ago…

9) Ants have already survived a mass extinction event

The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event…

8) Ants have conquered almost the entire globe

With the exception of Antarctica, the Arctic, and a handful of islands, just about every piece of land on Earth harbors at least one native ant species…

7) One group of ants conquered six continents
6) The total ant population makes our 7 billion look weak

In their Pulitzer-prize winning book The Ants, researchers Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson estimate that there are upwards of 10,000,000,000,000,000 individual ants alive on Earth at any given time.

5) Some ants are quite large
3) In some regions of the world, ants can account for over a quarter of the animal biomass
4) Ants have a hive mind
2) Ants cooperate with other species
1) Ants practice slavery

Many species of ants are known to raid neighboring colonies and steal eggs or larvae in a practice known as “dulosis”. The forcibly acquired young are then either eaten or put to work.

Check out the complete article here

Scheme ant worker anatomy

What is an ant?

The word “ant” means “the biter”.

Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period.

Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands.

Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems.

Ants are distinct in their morphology from other insects in having elbowed antennae, metapleural glands, and a strong constriction of their second abdominal segment into a node-like petiole.

More from wiki…

What do ants do in the winter?

ants-3-651817-mAnts just seem to go away in the late fall and we don’t see them again til spring. So, where do they go? Are they hibernating?

I found the answer to that question at AntWeb.org, thank you Ben Rubin.

… As I am sure you know, ants, like most insects, don’t do very well in the cold. But ants are always around in the spring when the weather warms up, so how are they surviving the winter? In general, the temperature underground is quite a bit higher than the air temperature. Ants take advantage of this by moving deeper underground in the winter. Some ant nests can be over 15 feet (4.57 meters) below ground level. They can also stay warm by grouping close together and sharing body heat.And ants in places where it is too cold to gather food during the winter may store food in their colonies and fill their crops (an extension of the gut used to store food and water) so that they do not starve.

So generally, ants hibernate during the winter, moving deep underground, grouping together, and generally limiting activity to conserve energy. Ants that live in particularly cold climates, like Leptothorax canadensis from Québec, Canada, and New England, USA, produce their own biological antifreeze so that the water in their bodies does not freeze. These ants are sometimes exposed to temperatures below -20° C (-4° F) but are able to survive even long cold winters by combining all of these methods for staying warm.

– Ben Rubin & the AntAsk Team