Nature teaches so much: collaboration is the key to making our world work! 🐜
Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera.
Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. The colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.
Ants communicate with each other using pheromones, sounds, and touch. Like other insects, ants perceive smells with their long, thin, and mobile antennae. The paired antennae provide information about the direction and intensity of scents. Since most ants live on the ground, they use the soil surface to leave pheromone trails that may be followed by other ants. In species that forage in groups, a forager that finds food marks a trail on the way back to the colon.
Pheromones are used to trace places where food is abundant, to report dangers and injuries to keep the companions away.
The ants defend themselves and attack through bites and, in many species, through bites that can inject or spray chemicals like formic acid.
Ants identify members of the same family or colony through their odor, which comes from secretions that impregnate their exoskeletons. If an ant is separated from its original colony, it will eventually lose its characteristic odor. Each ant that enters a colony, without the smell that corresponds to it, will eventually be attacked.
Photo by: @vera.ivi 🌱