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Ants are everywhere and live in large groups. Have you thought about the key behind their survival? Just like human beings, ants are social creatures, they live and work in highly organised societies which are called colonies. Most ant colonies are united towards common objectives, which include growth, survival and reproduction. The same way in which the human body has different parts which serve different functions, ant colonies have multiple colony members that work together in order to accomplish a common goal. Ants always put their CASTS first, each colony consisting of a mother who is the queen and her daughters which grow to be the worker ants. During the mating season, males may also linger around the colony, but they, unfortunately, do not stay for long.
Queen ants are usually the biggest ant in the colony. A queen ant has wings which she sheds after mating. Worker ants do not have wings. When mating season arrives, swarmers leave their ant nests and go to a specific place. After mating has happened, the queen ants take off their wings and begin a new colony. The queen Ant uses eggs and fats for nourishment when beginning the colony.
Ants are most likely to nest in all sorts of places that fit their temperature requirements. Many species of ants dig underground nests or build mounds of soil while other ants live in rotten wood and some prefer to live under rocks. Ant colonies are very organised, the worker ants work together to find food sources for the colony, they also go around looking for new places to nest when moving season comes. It is also the responsibility of worker ants to protect the colony against enemies.
The queen’s main role is to lay eggs after the queen has laid her eggs; it is the responsibility of the young workers to take care of their queen and the brood. Despite the queen’s size and authority, she does not take it upon herself to boss workers around, instead; the worker ants decide which tasks they will perform based on their personal preferences, interactions and clues from the environment.
Ants communicate using chemicals called pheromones which can send different signals such as a message to attack the invader or a signal that there is an available food source. The queen ant is covered with a mixture of chemicals which indicate her presence.
Ants work better in groups than individually, and that is why it is difficult to spot a single ant without its mates. A group of ants have the capability to overcome bigger and stronger prey, the unity also gives ants the power to team up and defend their colony against potential threats. Competition for food and other resources among colonies often lead to aggression. Worker ants sometimes sting, spray or bite to death during such battles.